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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-21

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

21 January 2000 Friday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 21, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

1500-PEOPLE LIST
''Back up'' records of the computer which the leader of the terrorist Hezbollah organization wanted to destroy by gunfire, were saved. A 1500- people death list was seized. The list included businessmen, journalists, moderate Moslems, and artists. A high level police official said, ''there would be a massacre if the operation was not staged.''

EXECUTION RECORDED IN VIDEO
Murderers of terrorist Hezbollah organization shoot their victims, whom they killed, as they were dying. The terrorists wanted to spoil the videotapes by pouring water on them when they understood that they would be captured. Yet, the police managed to save some of these videotapes. There are scenes of interrogation in the tapes. The police is expected to broadcast these scenes.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

THEY HAD SET SIVAS INTO FIRE
Confessions of the accused of Madimak case: ''Hezbollah is responsible for the Hotel fire in 1993.'' Terrorist Hezbollah organization was revealed from the confessions of the accused of Sivas massacre case where 37 intellectuals were killed. The accused, who wanted to make use of Repentance Law, disclosed that Suleyman Kursun, Ramazan Onder, Mehmet Ilter, and Muhammed Kilic, who organized the massacre, were the terrorists of the illegal Hezbollah organization.

''LET US ELECT DEMIREL'' TOUR
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit concluded his visits to the leaders of the political parties for a constitutional amendment to extend President Suleyman Demirel's term in office. Devlet Bahceli, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said he will discuss the issue with the Chairmanship Council of his party. Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), said he will vote in favour of Demirel. ''There is a strong possibility of reaching a consensus,'' Ecevit said after meeting the leaders of the main parties.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

THE SUSPICION WHICH SHAKES THE NEIGHBOURS
The rumour that Hezbollah terrorists mixed human flesh to the repast (taken before the dinner for breaking a fast) frozen the blood of the inhabitants of the district. The rumour that fierce Hezbollah terrorists distributed the flesh of the people they killed spread quickly. Yet, it was reported that the dead bodies kept their shapes, but that there were the signs of torture on the bodies. Experts said human flesh can be understood easily, there is no reason to feel concern.

LAST WARNING TO THE LAWYERS OF APO
Justice Ministry decided to launch an initiative following the statements, which Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, made through his lawyers. Hikmet Sami Turk, Minister of Justice, sent a circular to State Security Court (DGM) Chief Prosecutorships, and Republican Prosecutorships of all provinces, and wanted them to launch investigation on charges of ''misusing duty'', and ''abusing authority''.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

REPORTS SHOW IRAN
According to the reports of the Intelligence organization and report of Parliamentary Investigation Committee, which search unsolved murders, Tehran supported Hezbollah terrorists. The Hezbollah report, which was prepared by Intelligence units and submitted to the high level security units of the state, said that the scheme of the organization has similarities with the Pasdar (reform guards) linked with Iranian Intelligence service. The report also said clashes between Hezbollah and terrorist PKK organization turned into cooperation in recent months. It said, ''it is clear that both of the organizations cooperate against Turkish Republic especially in southeastern Diyarbakir and Batman provinces.''

PEACE ATMOSPHERE IN THE AEGEAN
Improving relations between Turkey and Greece following massive earthquakes, entered a new period with the visit of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou. Papandreou and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem signed four agreements within the framework of Turkish-Greek dialogue. Cooperation in struggle against terrorism is among these cooperations.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

THE REPORT WAS NOT TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION
A report dated October 12, 1995, prepared by Parliamentary Investigation Commission, searching for the unsolved murders, had briefed about the terrorist Hezbollah organization in detail, and advised measures. The report had stressed that illegal Hezbollah organization was more dangerous than terrorist PKK organization.

This report had been submitted to the Office of Parliament Speaker, but was not discussed.

''CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM'' WITH ATHENS
There was a positive atmosphere during visit of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou to Ankara, yet concrete steps could not be taken regarding problems between the two countries. ''Cautious optimism'' revealed after intense contacts of the first Greek Foreign Minister who visited Turkey after 38 years. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit invited Costas Simitis, Greek Prime Minister, to Turkey during his meeting Papandreou.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

THREE MORE DEAD BODIES
Operations against the terrorist Hezbollah organization continue throughout the country. Gruesome actions of the terrorist organization are illuminated one by one after its leader was killed, and many terrorists were captured. Three dead bodies were found buried in the coal cellar of a house in Etimesgut district in Ankara.

COOPERATION WITH ATHENS
A Greek Foreign Minister officially visited Turkey after 38 years. George Papandreou, Greek Foreign Minister, held separate meetings with President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Papandreou wanted dialogue process to continue for the improvement of relations. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem proposed military cooperation to the guest minister.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

VIOLENCE INCREASES
Operations against the terrorist Hezbollah organization began to be staged all around the country. It was revealed that the dead bodies, found in a house in Ankara, received torture. Nine people were taken into custody during operations in Ankara. The detainees confessed that they killed and buried three people in Etimesgut district who they kidnapped. When the police dug the soil, they found the dead bodies of three people who were killed by torture.

TURKISH-GREEK RAPPROACHMENT CONTINUES
The contacts of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou in Turkey ended with a news conference which he jointly gave with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Both ministers stressed that positive relations between the two countries may be further improved.

[03] 39.8 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS OF AGRICULTURAL AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS EXPORTED TO TURKISH REPUBLICS

GAZIANTEP, Jan 21 (A.A) - The exports of agricultural and animal products to Turkish Republics in Central Asia from the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region in 1999 decreased 39.4 percent to 39 million 780 thousand U.S. dollars.

In 1998, the region exported 65 million 598 thousand U.S. dollars of agricultural and animal products to Turkish Republics.

Officials at the Southeastern Anatolia Exporters' Union, told the A.A correspondent on Friday that in 1999, they exported 26 million 610 thousand U.S. dollars in textiles; 13 million 61 thousand U.S. dollars in grain- cereals; 99 thousand U.S. dollars in dried fruits and 10 thousand U.S. dollars in livestock.

The majority of the goods were exported to Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and the Turkish goods in greatest demand were carpet, plastic sack, flour, margarine, candy, and biscuit.

[04] ERVAK RELEASES 'EAST ANATOLIA DEVELOPMENT PROJECT REPORT'

ISTANBUL, Jan 21 (A.A) - Erzurum Development Foundation (ERVAK) prepared a report which includes the problems of Eastern Anatolia region as well as suggestions which offer solutions.

In the first part of the report which was supervised by Prof. Erol Oral, the Rector of Erzurum Ataturk University, it was pointed out that dramatic differences of economic levels among Turkey's various regions was one of the most serious problems of the country.

Differences in development levels cause capital and population migration, the report said, adding that there was a high migration to other cities from Erzurum, Erzincan, Bayburt, Gumushane, Artvin, Kars and Tunceli provinces according to 1990 census results. The State Statistics Institute (DIE) also foresees a dramatical drop in the region's population in the next 20 years.

''Priority areas in development'' project which suggests taking measures to encourage investments in Southeastern Anatolia, has remained insufficent, the report noted. ''Forming private funds (Southern Italy for example), donations, long term tax exemption, giving authority to local administrations, loans with low interest rate, various technical training aid are the main elements that are necessary for the programme's success,'' it was said.

The report draws attention to the agricultural characteristic of the region. Marketibility of agricultural products and prevention of low productivity are important motivational factors, the report said.

The industrial institutions in Southeastern Anatolia cannot compete with other regions and work with a very low capacity. An 'independent support fund' should be created to support all the industrial institutions in the region since lack of resources is the main factor that lies on the root of the problem, it was noted.

The report also said the mining income of the Southeastern Anatolia region was only 7.8 percent of Turkey's total figure.

In the suggestions section, the report said increasing economic motivation, improving infrastructure, making investments in training and health services would be key to solve the problems of the Southeastern Anatolia.

[05] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREOU : - ''DIALOGUE PROCESS BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE WILL EASE SOLUTION OF CYPRUS QUESTION''

ANKARA, Jan 21 (A.A) - Yorgo Papandreou, the Greek Foreign Minister, said on Friday that the dialogue process between Turkey and Greece would also ease solution of Cyprus question.

Papandreou who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey, received journalists.

Addressing the meeting, Papandreou stressed that most of problems between the two countries stemmed from lack of understanding and dialogue.

Noting that the Turkish Cypriots feel they are threatened by the Greek Cypriots, Papandreou noted that the Greek Cypriots also feel that they are threatened by Turkey.

Underlining that the sides on Cyprus could come together just like Turkey and Greece, Papandreou said that Turkey and Greece should support the proximity talks.

Referring to Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU), Papandreou said that they could brief Turkey on their experiences in the EU. He noted that Turkey and Greece had similar problems.

Papandreou emphasized that Turkey and Greece could cooperate in many parts of the region such as the Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East, and Black Sea.

When asked whether or not he had brought the issue of illegal Iraqi immigrants onto agenda of his meetings in Ankara, Papandreou recalled that they had also signed an agreement to prevent illegal migration. He added that the issue was taken up during his contacts with Turkish officials.

Noting that the latest developments in Kosovo was also discussed at the meetings, Papandreou noted, ''there are many things that we can do in cooperation. Turkey is a member of the NATO and she has been accepted as a candidate to the EU. For example, Turkey has good relations with Azerbaijan, and we have with Armenia. Therefore, we can work together to assits these countries to solve problems. We can also do the same thing in the Middle East. There is an ethnic group in Kosovo that is under pressure. But we do not want to create an independent state. You can easily imagine what would it mean for the Balkans. If all groups having different cultures and ethnic origins, try to found a separate state, it will lead to chaos. We had defended with Ismail Cem that Turkey and Greece should participate in the Contact Group. There are two NATO members in the Balkans. We reacted them for taking decisions about the region without consulting us.''

[06] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREOU : ''OCALAN ISSUE WAS DISCUSSED WIDELY IN GREECE''

ANKARA, Jan 21 (A.A) - Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Friday that the capture of the head of the terrorist organization Abdullah Ocalan in the Greek Ambassy in Nairobi was widely discussed in Greece and an investigation commission was formed in the Greek parliament to investigate the matter.

Papandreou who is on an official visit to Turkey responded reporters' questions at a meeting before he proceeded to Istanbul.

Greece didn't want to turn the Kurdish issue into a problem between Turkey and Greece and this was not Greece's policy. Turkey and Greece could have discussed the issue in various platforms in the EU, Papandreou said. EU's policy against terrorism, and protection of human rights and minority rights are well known and these are the points to which Turkey has to pay special attention, he noted.

Defending that the EU membership of Greek Cypriot administration would create various advantages for Turkey, Papandreou said, ''Turkish Cypriots will be presented at EU commissions. They will take place in the European Parliament and Council of Ministers. Turkish will be recognized as an offical language by the EU. Therefore, the EU will get used to the idea of Turkey even before Turkey becomes an EU member.''

Responding to a question about Turks living in the Western Thrace, Papandreou said the question of minorities have always been a tough issue.

Stating that the best thing to do is to make the minorities feel at home, Papandreou said, ''the Turks living in the Western Thrace are Greek citizens and they have the same rights with all other Greek citizens. The same thing is valid for the Greek minority in Istanbul.'' Papandreou stressed that minorities should be regarded as a wealth, not as a threat.

Papandreou said the raproachment between Turkey and Greece was supported by the majority of people and political parties in Greece and assured that possible government changes would not affect the continuation of positive developments.

In the meantime, Micheal Cristides, First Secretary at the Greek Embassy in Ankara, mentioned the letter he received from a quake survivor in Adapazari who lost his relatives in the earthquake. The survivor who did not write his name said that he met with Greek journalists and doctors following the quake and was very touched so he hung a Greek flag on his shop's window. ''This is the best expression of friendly relations between the people of two countries,'' Cristides said.

[07] PRESIDENT DENKTAS OF TRNC RECEIVES BANDLER, U.S. AMBASSADOR IN LEFKOSA

LEFKOSA, Jan 21 (A.A) - President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) received on Friday Donald Bandler, the U.S. Ambassador in Lefkosa.

Addressing the meeting, Denktas noted that new opportunities arose regarding the Cyprus question.

Meanwhile, Bandler said in his part that the first round proximity talks which were held in New York, the U.S., were very positive.

He noted that the U.S. hoped the same positive atmosphere would continue during the second round proximity talks which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Recalling that the U.S. fully supported the proximity talks, Bandler said that Alfred Moses, the Special Representative of U.S. President Bill Clinton to Cyprus; Thomas Weston, the Special Coordinator of the U.S. State Department to Cyprus; and himself would be in attendance at the second round talks.

When asked to evaluate Greek Foreign Minister Yorgo Papandreou's official visit to Turkey, Bandler noted that the U.S. welcomed the rapprochement between Turkey and Greece.

He stressed that it was a very positive development for both Turkey and Greece and for the sides on the island.

[08] JCR:''TURKEY'S PRESENT ECONOMIC PROGRAMME DIFFERENT THAN PREVIOUS ONES''

ANKARA, Jan 21 (A.A) - Masami Shigematsu, Turkey analist of Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR), one of Japan's leading rating institutions, said that Turkey's present economic programme was different than the previous ones.

The JCR delegation headed by Shigematsu who came to Turkey last week to assess Turkey's credit note left the country on Thursday after having contacts in Istanbul and Ankara for about a week.

Shigematsu told A.A that they had meetings with representatives of banking sector in Istanbul; Treasury, State Planning Organization, Central Bank and Finance Ministry's authorities in Ankara and they were briefed about the latest economic developments.

Shigematsu said he has been observing Turkish economy for 4-5 years and he was familiar with the past economic programmes. He noted that the present programme was feasible and the authorities were determined to implement the programme.

The first six months are very important to test an economic programme and the indications received in the first quarter will not yield clear results regarding the economic programme, Shigematsu said.

He said JCR will announce the annual evaluation of Turkish economy and Turkey's credit note within two weeks.

JCR which gave 'BB' for Turkey in November 1997 could raise Turkey's credit note according to the results of the first six months of 2000.

On the other hand, Treasury Undersecretariat will start entering Samurai market in February and March and get into debt in Japanese Yen. Treasury will receive JCR's assessment in two weeks and start exporting bonds to Samurai market. Treasury has not been using Samurai market in the last two years.

A.A


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