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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-19

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

19 January 2000 Wednesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 19, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

A SURPRIZE IN THE SACK
The identity cards of the kidnapped businessmen and two important documents were found in the sack which was seized during the operation staged against the terrorist Hezbollah organization. The identity card and photographs of Konca Kuris, the fundamentalist writer who was abducted two years ago and was not received any news since then, was found in the sack. The possibility that Kuris was killed is a strong possibility. A video-cassette on which wrote Mehmet Sumbul and an identity card also got out of the sack. Sumbul who is lost for four months, is one of the assailants of the Nesim Malki assassination. Officials fear that Sumbul can also be killed.

SNOW ALSO FALLS IN ADANA
The cold weather continues. The heavy snowfall paralyzed the daily life throughout Turkey. Snow also fell in southern Adana province. It had not snowed in Adana since eight years. The Porsuk Brook was frozen. It had not been frozen since seven years. A worker froze to death in southeastern Kilis province while a high school student froze to death in western Manisa province. The temperature will decrease more and more at weekend.

25 PERCENT LIMITATION IN RENTS PASSED FROM COMMISSION
The Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission adopted the draft which envisages only 25 percent increase in the rents this year and 10 percent increase in 2001. The Commission also limited the rents of the assets of the foundations by 25 percent.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

BEWILDERMENT DUE TO INCREASE IN OIL PRICES
The government which decreased the oil prices five percent last year, increased the prices 10 percent this year. A few hours later, the Petrol Ofisi said that the increase was put on hold.

TURKEY IS TREASURY
The Time, a U.S. news magazine, used Turkey's ancient heritage in the cover of its last issue. The cover of the book wrote, ''Turkey's Treasures.'' The Time magazine issued a nine-page story about Turkey's Treasures. It said that Turkey hosts the wealthiest ancient culture in the world. The Time magazine also issued the photographs of the ancient sites in Turkey. The Time magazine's issuing such a story about Turkey in a period when the summer tours are organized, is considered as a good opportunity for Turkey's tourism.

VAKIFBANK TO BE SOLD
20 percent of the shares of Vakifbank which belongs to the Foundations' General Directorate, is expected to be sold. A total of 400 million U.S. dollar is expected to be gained from this selling. Yuksel Yalova, the State Minister, had earlier said that he had prepared a draft law regarding the privatization of Vakifbank. Yalova had also said that after this draft took effect, the shares of the bank would be sold.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

BELGIAN DECEUNINCK SETS UP JOINT VENTURE WITH EGE PROFIL
Kemal Zorlu, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Mazhar Zorlu Holding, said that signing an agreement with the Belgian Deceuninck company which produces PVC for the doors and windows, is a step taken in the path of institutionalization. Zorlu added that the Ege Profil has a significant market share in the production of PVC doors and windows. The Belgian company Deceuninck will purchase 50.1 percent of the Turkish Ege Profil company.

NOONE CARES ABOUT ANKARA
The administrators of Ankara did not take any preconditions against the heavy snowfall despite the warnings of the officials of the meteorology. Melih Gokcek, the Ankara Mayor, is busy lobbying for the administration of Fenerbahce, a famous soccer team. Turkey's capital city was paralyzed by the heavy snowfall. The residents of Ankara not only had difficulties in transportation due to this snowfall but also had to stay in cold when the natural gas could not be given to some of the districts. The municipality teams did not find it necessary to salt the roads. Thus, many traffic accidents happened. Moreover, the Ankara Governorship made a statement regarding the schools very late. The statement said that the schools were not closed due to the heavy snowfall. Gokcek said that the natural gas problem resulted from the ''extraordinary cold weather.''

CUMHURIYET (LEFT) SUPPORT FROM IRAN TO CACASUS PACT
Kamal Kharrazi, Iranian Foreign Minister, and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem convened on Tuesday in Foreign Ministry. Regional and international problems were negotiated during the meeting. Iranian administration expressed readiness to make every kind of contribution to the stability in the Caucasus, where Turkey proposed to establish a pact for regional stability and peace.

ERDAL'S DETENTION PERIOD EXTENDED
Belgian Bruges Court on Tuesday decided to extend detention period of Fehriye Erdal, Musa Asaoglu, and Hasan Saz, members of illegal DHKP-C organization, for another month. Erdal, Asaoglu, and Saz are currently under arrest in Belgium within the framework of the investigation related with the murder of businessman Ozdemir Sabanci.

The Court examined the file which included the request of Turkey for the extradition and arrest of Fehriye Erdal. The Court said it found Turkey's request as just and valid due to judicial means.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

ADVICE OF DEMIREL
President Suleyman Demirel on Tuesday received Mehmet Gencer, the Chairman of Kirikkale Relatives of Martyrs Association, and accompanying delegation. When Gencer said they will hold a rally on February 5, and return their pride medals, Demirel said, ''martyrs are the owners of these medals. You are just keeping these medals. Rely on the state.''

President Demirel stressed that he shared the grief of relatives of martyrs, and underlined, ''Turkey is a state of law, and she has to fulfil necessities of the law. We should await the European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) decision. The ECHR cannot change our court's decision. This means that the verdict would not be changed. Ocalan file will be discussed at the parliament. All I want from you is patience.''

DEMOCRACY IS UNDER DANGER
Vural Savas, Chief Prosecutor of Supreme Court, defended that fundamentalism became a living threat, and called on people to protect democracy. Savas pointed out that, ''If we do not carry out our duty, we will set up the foundation for the beginning of the end of the Turkish Republic.''

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

SNOW BLOCKS ROADS
Snowfall and cold weather paralyzed daily life in Turkey. Two people were frozen to death in Manisa and Kilis provinces. Roads of thousands of villages were closed to transportation. A total of 11 teachers are missing in central Anatolian Sivas province.

BELGIAN PARTNER TO EGE PROFIL
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.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

BEGINING OF THE END
Liquidation process of terrorist Hezbollah organization started after the capture of its leader cadre. Illegal Hezbollah organization, which is in an effort to move from the Southeast to the West, suffered a mass blow after the tight measures taken by the security forces. High level officials of security department identified a terrorist killed in a five-hour shootout as the leader of the organization.

SAVAS BROADENS THE FRONT
Vural Savas, the Supreme Court of Appeals' Republican Chief Prosecutor, on Tuesday made a verbal statement in the Constitutional Court to disclose the case he opened for the closure of Virtue Party (FP). Savas claimed that FP was a danger that will require self defence. The Chief Prosecutor frequently sent messages to the army.

[03] JANISSARY BAND PERFORMS IN VIENNA

VIENNA, Jan 19 (A.A) - The Culture Ministry Istanbul Historical Turkish Music Janissary Band and Ankara State Opera and Ballet Orchestra performed in Vienna on Tuesday.

This was the first time that the Janisary Band staged a joint performance with a classical music orchestra outside Turkey. The revenue of the concert which was held within the framework of the activities staged for the 700th anniversary of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, will be donated for the quake survivors.

Nearly 600 people, including Culture Minister Istemihan Talay; Austrian Foreign Affairs General Secretary Albert Rohan; Omer Akbel, Turkey's Ambassador to Vienna; Yalim Eralp, Turkey's Envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); and Yasar Yakis, Turkey's Envoy to the United Nations (U.N.); watched the concert.

After the performance of the Janissary Band, the Ankara State Opera and Ballet Orchestra performed the tunes of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Bulent Tarcan and Lanner. The orchestra was directed by Hikmet Simsek, a state artist.

Later, the Janissary Band and the orchestra performed the ''alla Turca'' composition of Mozart.

The Janissary Band consists of 30 people while the Ankara State and Ballet Orchestra includes 64 people.

The Janissary Band and the orchestra will give the concert in Bratislava, Slovakia.

[04] CONFERENCE TITLED ''TURKEY'S RECONSTRUCTION'' STAGED IN WASHINGTON D.C.

WASHINGTON D.C., Jan 19 (A.A) - A conference titled ''Turkey's Reconstruction'' was staged in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

The high-ranking officials of the international and the U.S. finance institutions discussed the reconstruction works in Turkey following the devastating quakes which were centered in Kocaeli and Duzce.

Kirk Robertson, the deputy president of the Overseas Private Investment Company (OPIC) responsible for practices, said that the OPIC provided a total of 235 million U.S. dollar loan to two Turkish companies following the quake disasters.

The total value of the 39 investment projects that the OPIC supports in Turkey, is 1.3 billion U.S. dollars; Robertson noted.

They expect that this figure will have a significant increase this year, Robertson stated.

Jeffrey Miller, the deputy governor of Eximbank, said that the initiatives regarding the 1 billion U.S. dollar Eximbank loan which will be given to Turkey, continue.

This loan will be provided for the U.S. exporters who will work in Turkey in return of the purchase of U.S. goods and services, Miller recalled.

Miller noted that they work with 12 Turkish private banks regarding this issue, including Garanti Bank, Is Bank, Yapi Kredi Bank, Finansbank, Demirbank, Kocbank, Disbank, Korfezbank, Osmanli Bank, Iktisat Bank, Oyakbank and Kentbank.

If Turkey approves the investment of the U.S. companies in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region, they will also encourage these companies; Miller stated.

Miller stressed that if the Baku-Ceyhan and Turkmen natural gas projects are implemented and the U.S. companies participated in the construction of the pipelines; they will also grant Eximbank loan to these companies.

An official of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara has been designated for the coordination of this issue; Miller emphasized.

Miller pointed out that the Turkish government accepted a market economy and that if Turkey continues its route in this path, then she will have more connection with the U.S. Eximbank.

Piotr Wilczynski, an official of the World Bank, said that the World Bank granted 1.8 billion U.S. dollar loan to Turkey for the reconstruction works.

This amount will be used in various projects that will be fulfilled in quake-hit Bolu, Bursa, Eskisehir, Istanbul, Kocaeli, Sakarya and Yalova; Wilczynski noted.

Wilczynski stated that the loan will not only be used in construction projects but also used in the establishment of psychological treatment centers for the quake survivors, in the establishment of national emergency administration mechanism, the implementation of building construction standards, and introducing Turkish people with the concept of ''disaster insurance.''

All these projects are planned to be completed until December 2002, Wilczynski stressed.

Baki Ilkin, Turkey's Ambassador to Washington D.C., said that 75,000 buildings were totally collapsed while 62,000 buildings were moderately damaged in the quake disasters.

Nearly 500,000 people were left homeless following the quake disasters, Ilkin noted.

Ilkin stated that the World Bank and Turkish government work on a project to construct 23,000 new buildings in the quake zone.

An institution which will hold emergency initiatives in case of disasters will be set up in Turkey within this project; Ilkin added.

[05] EU TERM PRESIDENT PORTUGAL: ''TURKEY IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ACTORS OF THE WORLD''

STRASBOURG, Jan 19 (A.A) - Jaime Gama, the Foreign Minister of Portugal which is the Term President of the European Union (EU), said on Wednesday that Turkey is one of the most important actors of the world.

Gama gave information about the activity report of his country's term presidency in the speech he made in the European Parliament (EP).

A special concern should be shown in the relations with Turkey which has a special position, Gama noted.

Gama stated that it is necessary to take under guarantee a more harmonious perspective between Turkey and the EU.

The enlargement is one of the most important targets of the EU so Portugal will attribute great importance to this issue during her six-month term presidency, Gama added.

[06] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER'S VISIT TO ANKARA - FM:''WE HOPE THE POSITIVE STEPS TAKEN IN BILATERAL RELATIONS TO CONTINUE''

ANKARA, Jan 19 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it hoped the positive steps taken in the bilateral relations between Turkey and Greece to continue.

Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermat Atacanlı told a weekly press briefing that Greek Foreign Minister Yorgo Papandreou will come together with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and sign certain agreements. The guest foreign minister, who will come to Ankara today, will also be received by President Suleyman Demirel, Premier Bulent Ecevit and Parliament Speaker Yıldırım Akbulut.

Recalling that after the interdelegationary meetings that will be headed by Cem and Papandreou, Atacanlı said that they will sign four agreements and added that if the agreement on prevention of double taxation is completed till then, it can also be signed.

Atacanlı said that Cem can go to Athens in the beginning of February, adding he can't give a specific date for that at the moment.

When reminded that Casulides, the Foreign Minister of the southern Greek Cypriot administration waits for the invitation of Ankara, Atacanlı said ''he should wait for a long time.''

Cyprus question is not an issue of Turkey and Greece, said Atacanlı and noted yet the softening of Turkish-Greek relations can also have a positive effect on this question.

Upon the news claiming that Macedonia will recognize the Greek Cypriot administration, Atacanlı said they've taken up this issue with Macedonian officials seriously and Turkey can't accept the claims saying that the Greek Cypriot side represents the whole island.

[07] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT:''OUR AIM IS TO BENEFIT FROM THIS FERTILE SOIL USING REASON AND SCIENCE''

ANKARA, Jan 19 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said ''they could take lessons from the agricultural implementations carried out by Ataturk in the first years of the Republic'' when he spoke at the 5th Technical Congress organized by Turkey Agriculture Engineers Chamber on Wednesday.

Although it is a basic element for economy, agriculture is the most neglected sector and Turkish farmers, for long years, suffered from unfair competition. Agriculture is supported greatly in EU countries, Ecevit also noted. Turkey does not benefit much from agriculture engineers and the most fertile lands are occupied by residential and industrial sites, he reminded.

Like in other fields, there are many lessons Turkey can take from Ataturk's implementations in agriculture, he went on to say. ''We see that agricultural training, industrialization and trasportation was dealt with together in those times,'' Ecevit noted.

The greatest handicap of Turkish agriculture is the lack of 'on the job training'. Secondly, there is no production planning and over-production of certain products cause big stocks which puts extra burden on the government. The Agriculture Ministry works for an agricultural reform for production planning and State Minister Mustafa Yilmaz carries out activities about agricultural infrastructure. ''I'm hoping that this year will be the beginning of an extensive reform in agriculture and our works will start yielding results,'' Ecevit added.

The support given to farmers must focus on increasing productivity and farmers must get organized more effectively. The government is also working to start agriculture insurance, Ecevit explained.

''New settlement areas must be formed in rural areas. These areas which were chosen for some reaons in the past now lost their value. Especially in the East and the South East, the settlement areas are so scattered, it is difficult to maintain security and also development,'' he noted.

The Democratic Left Party proposed ''Village-City'' (Koykent) project to deal with the problem and the Nationalist Movement Party suggested a project which combines agriculture and industry, Ecevit reminded and said the government will take important steps in these projects in 2000.

The government is also planning to carry out a serious reforms in forestry area to enable villagers who live in forest areas get fair income from forest products and have their participation in the forests' management.

''Turkey's agricultural products are sufficient for Turkey's all regions but Turkey has become the market of products imported from other countries which seriously bothers our farmers. As the government, our aim is to take advantage of this fertile soil granted us by God, using reason and science, '' Ecevit said.

[08] FOREIGN MINISTRY:''THERE IS NO SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH ISRAEL REGARDING COMBAT AGAINST TERRORISM''

ANKARA, Jan 19 (A.A) - The Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that Turkey exchanged opinions with some countries to combat terrorism but there was no special agreement signed with Israel on this matter.

When reminded of news about a possible cooperation between Turkey and Israel's intelligence unit Mossad against Hezbollah, Sermet Atacanli, the Deputy Spokesman of the Foreign Ministry said Turkey suffered a lot from terrorism and added that every country had its own methods of combating against terrorism.

Responding to a question about Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi's visit to Turkey, Atacanli said they discussed border security and combat against terrorism with Kharrazi.

When asked if there would be a change of policy about opening the border gate on Turkish-Armenian border, Atacanli said the Armenian delegation which visited Kars a few days ago was formed by enterpreneurs who made observations in trade and similar issues and noted that there was no official delegation from Armenia.

Atacanli said that they supported a ''sustainable and strong'' solution to Upper Karabag problem between Armenia and Azerbaijan and stressed that Turkey's position on this matter did not change.

[09] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREOU ADDRESSES TO A.A: - ''WE CAN REVIVE WISE MEN PROCESS'' ''WE SUPPORT TURKEY'S MEMBERSHIP TO EU''

ATHENS, Jan 19 (A.A) - Yorgo Papandreou, the Greek Foreign Minister said on Wednesday that he will propose reviving the process of ''Wise Men'' which was formed to take up the problems in Aegean during his visit to Turkey.

Speaking to A.A before leaving for Ankara, Papandreou called for friendship, peace and cooperation.

Stressing that Turkey and Greece took ''very big steps'' in the last months, Papandreou said that the bilateral relations will base on a strong foundation by the cooperation agreements that will be signed between Turkey and Greece.

Cooperation agreements will bring together many sectors from Turkey and Greece within the process of cooperation, said Greek Foreign Minister and stressed that the relations between the two countries will develop rapidly.

There are ''difficult'' problems between the two countries, said Papandoreou and added that the Wise Men process which was formed after Madrid agreement and before Luxembourg summit can be revived to take up the problems in Aegean.

''As you know this process which is an initiative within the framework of the EU, was frozen after the Luxembourg summit. The conditions are different now,'' he said and added that Greece approaches the relations with Turkey in a careful way.

Papandreou noted that Greece was the EU Term President during the recent enlargement of the EU and Greece has great information about the problems of candidate countries and their transition process to membership.

''We are ready to present this experience of us to Turkey and support her on her way to the EU,'' he said and added that it is not correct to give a specific date of Turkey's accession to the EU as a full member.

''One has to approach this issue in stages, rather than determining dates. Turkey will complete this process in stages. When Turkey passes through these stages, the objections of certain political powers in Europe about the candidacy of Turkey to the EU in respect of religion and culture will lose its power. We don't support approaches saying 'how a moslem country becomes a EU member.' There are Copenhagen criteria and no approach other than that can be valid,'' he said.

Noting that he has a different point of view about the Cyprus question, Papandreou said that Turkey and Greece should regard Cyprus ''not as a problem to be solved, but as a chance of forming an example of coexistance to the world.''

''We are in a period in which new opportunities come out. We can show Cyprus as a model, a prototype to the world,'' said Papandreou and added that the relations between Turkey and Greece ''shouldn't change due to seasons and the warm relations should be maintained in all seasons.''

''After the earthquake, we, the leaders of the two countries received the messages of peace and friendship of both peoples, and we act due to that. But we should be careful. We are in a new process and the developments encourage us to form a future dream. We must work hard to reach that,'' said Papandreou.

Papandreou stressed that they atribute great importance to cooperation between the peoples of Turkey and Greece, adding ''we will light a green signal for a comprehensive cooperation process in Istanbul. In fact we've already lit it. But we wish to speed up the relations.''

[10] BRITISH DEPUTY FOREIGN SECRETARY VAZ:''TURKEY IS AN IMPORTANT MEMBER OF EU, A POWERFUL ALLY OF NATO AND A BIG MARKET FOR BRITISH EXPORTERS''

LONDON, Jan 19 (A.A) - British Deputy Foreign Secretary Keith Vaz said Turkey was an important partner of the EU, a powerful ally of NATO which gave support during Kosovo and Gulf crises and one of the biggest markets for British exporters, while Turkey's EU candidacy was assessed at the British Parliament's Foreign Relations Commission on Wednesday.

Vaz noted that Britian made a big effort to make Turkey a EU candidate and was very pleased that this was now taken under guarantee.

Turkey can now benefit from the advantages of the candidacy status including financial assistance, Vaz said and added that Turkey must also meet the criteria which is expected from all candidate countries.

Turkey must first recover its human rights record and make progress in the protection of minority rights, he added.

Regarding the Turkish government's decision to postpone the execution of the head of the terrorist organization Abdullah Ocalan, Vaz said it was a ''right decision'' and added that they hoped Turkey would also conform to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) about the matter. He also said Turkey, through this decision, showed that it was working to make improvements in the field of human rights.

Vaz also assured that Turkey will receive help from the Union and Britain during the period which leads to its full membership.

[11] TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS:''AS THE FACTS ARE REVEALED, GREEK CYPRIOTS GET MORE NERVOUS''

LEFKOSA, Jan 19 (A.A) - President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas said on Wednesday that ''as the facts are revealed, the Greek Cypriots get nervous and they panic because they worry that TRNC would be recognized by the world.''

Denktas told TRNC's Bayrak television channel (BRT) said the world started becoming aware of the fact that they had been deceived for years and this made the Greek Cypriots uneasy.

The letter written by the Greek administration to the European Union (EU) in order to prevent TRNC from officially being recognized is an indication of their fear, Denktas said. For years, the Greek Cypriots acted like they were the sole owners of the island and took wrong decisions, he added.

''The Greek Cypriots ended up at a deadlock after the decisions taken between the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. They have realized that no problem can be resolved if the Turkish side doesn't say 'yes'. Equality and sovereignty of Turkish Cypriots must be recognized before the Turkish side says 'yes'. This is why they are worried,'' Denktas said.

''Every coordinator and diplomat who come to TRNC see the realities and the Greek Cypriots feel uneasy about the revealing realities and make wrong attempts,'' he pointed out.

The Greek side has no intention of resolving the Cyprus problem and it could not be resolved before the Turkish Cypriots are granted an equal status with the Greek Cypriots, he stressed.

Denktas also noted that the Greek side felt uncomfortable about Denktas' scheduled visit to Germany which Denktas defined as a ''very normal visit.''

He also said that the proposal of the Greek Cypriots to open up a bureau with the Turkish Cypriots in Europe was a plot to prevent the TRNC from being viewed as an independent state and a government.

[12] GREEK FM PAPANDREOU ARRIVES IN ANKARA

ANKARA, Jan 19 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Wednesday that the visit of his Greek counterpart George Papandreou was the first by a Greek foreign minister since 1962, adding they would discess the relations between Turkey and Greece during Papandreou's visit.

Speaking to reporters at the Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Cem said there were positive developments between Turkey and Greece, recalling that Turkey and Greece rushed aid to each other following the devastating quakes last summer.

Cem said also the relations between Turkish and Greek peoples had steadily improved during this process.

Noting that he hoped the positive development in relations would continue in the future, Cem expressed his pleasure over the visit of his Greek counterpart.

Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou said in his part that he was paying a ''historical'' visit, adding that there were great expectations from the improving relations between the two countries.

Noting that the first steps in the relations had been taken earlier, Papandreou said he considered the developments as a new born optimism.

Pointing out that they would sign a series of agreements during his visit, Papandreou said they were obliged to improve the relations.

''I believe this visit will be successful,'' he added.

[13] STATE MINISTER GEMICI IN BULGARIA

SOFIA, Jan 19 (A.A) - Hasan Gemici, the State Minister, arrived in Bulgarian capital Sofia on Wednesday.

Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Trade officials and Tahsin Burcuoglu, the Turkish Ambassador to Bulgaria, welcomed Gemici and 43-member accompanying delegation at the Sofia Airport.

Gemici will attend three-day Turkish-Bulgarian Business Council meetings which will begin tomorrow.

During the meetings, Turkish businessmen will be briefed on investment and cooperation opportunities in Bulgaria.

He is also scheduled to meet with Hristo Mihaylovski, Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Economy, and Ivan Neykov, Bulgarian Labour and Social Policy Minister.

Gemici will come together with Aleksander Cerov, Bulgarian Deputy Speaker of Parliament, on January 21.

He is scheduled to hold talks with Evgeniy Chacev, Bulgarian Regional Development and Public Works Minister, on January 22.

Gemici and accompanying delegation are expected to return to Turkey on January 23.

[14] REACTIONS AGAINST MACEDONIA'S INITIATIVE TO RECOGNIZE GREEK CYPRIOT SIDE - KESMIR, TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO MACEDONIA: - ''SUCH A DECISION WILL UPSET TURKISH PEOPLE''

SKOPJE, Jan 19 (A.A) - Macedonian Foreign Ministry's initiative to set up diplomatic relations with the Greek Cypriot side, gave rise to harsh discussions.

Addressing a television program on Sitel Channel, Fazli Kesmir, the Turkish Ambassador to Macedonia, said on Tuesday night that such a decision would upset the Turkish people.

Kesmir stressed that Turkey's peaceful policy aimed at providing stability in the Balkans.

When asked whether or not Turkey's attitude towards Macedonia would change if Macedonia sets up diplomatic relations with the Greek Cypriot side, Kesmir noted that Turkey's foreign policy was obvious, and added that such a decision would upset the Turkish people.

Referring the history of Cyprus, Kesmir explained the pressures and unfairness against the Turkish Cypriots in detail.

Meanwhile, Macedonian intellectuals and other politicans reacted against the Macedonian Foreign Ministry's initiative to set up diplomatic relations with the Greek Cypriot side.

They stressed the importance of Turkey for Macedonia.

Turkish people living in Macedonia also expressed their concerns over the initiative of Macedonian Foreign Ministry.

Erdogan Sarac, the leader of the Macedonian Turkish Democracy Party, staged a press conference and criticized the Macedonian Foreign Ministry.

[15] TRNC COUNCIL OF MINISTERS TAKES SAVINGS MEASURES

LEFKOSA, Jan 19 (A.A) - The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Council of Ministers took a series of savings measures in its Wednesday's meeting presided by Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu.

The TRNC government, which took into consideration the current economic situation, reduced all subsidies by 15 percent excluding the salaries and investment appropriations financed by Turkey.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Cabinet Spokesman and Public Works and Transportation Minister Salih Miroglu said the current period necessitated savings measures which would be fulfilled within unity by every Turkish Cypriot individual.

Noting that the government took measures within this framework, Miroglu added that he believed considerable savings would be provided by the state.

A.A


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