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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-23

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

23 January 2000 Sunday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 23, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

TORTURER CONFESSES EVERYTHING
Mehmet Emin Ekinci who was in charge of Hezbollah's activities in the Mediterranean region was the person who ordered the kidnapping of Konca Kuris. Ekinci was captured in Istanbul and he started confessing everything without resistence as soon as his interrogation began. Ekinci said ''he was going to surrender even if he hadn't been caught'' and the addresses of all Hezbollah militants to the police.

ECEVIT:''THEY COULD HAVE LEAKED INTO GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS''
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that Hezbollah organization could have leaked into some government institutions. ''Hezbollah's murders show that the religion could be exploited. Revealing Hezbollah's activities was also good for religion. The latest incidents showed that we must treasure secularism which is a system which also respects religion,'' Ecevit said. Responding to a question, Ecevit said ''there was no solid evidence indicating a link between the murder of Ahmet Taner Kislali and Hezbollah organization.''

MILLIYET (LIBERAL) BLACK-BOX OF BRUTALITY
Police confiscated secret intelligence documents about ministers and politicians, secret identity cards of civil servants, documents about official motor vehicles in the house of Abdulsamet Yildiz, who was detained in Prime Ministry. It was revealed that Yildiz set up contact with Hezbollah's head Velioglu, who was killed in police operation, through Doctor Alpsoy of Hacettepe University. Questioning Yildiz, police revealed two more cell houses of the terrorist Hezbollah organization in Etimesgut, Ankara. The six students staying in these two houses are wanted by police.

NECESSARY LESSON TO BE GIVEN TO S&amp;P

Standard and Poor's which made an ''occupation and civil war'' analysis about Turkey, will be warned and condemned with a letter. Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel said the analysis did not reflect the truth, adding, ''the baseless and subjective opinions about the Turkish economy negatively affect credibility of rating organizations.''

ECEVIT: ''THEY INFILTRATE INTO THE STATE''
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, ''this is a situation which shows the kind of adventures that can be caused by exploiting religion for political purposes. I think the value of secularism is understood better now. The situation has a characteristic that can receive reaction of believers.''

KURIS TORTURED FOR 35 DAYS
The result of the autopsy: Konca Kuris was killed by a pillow or a piece of cloth stuck to her mouth and nostril. The body of Kuris was identified by the dental records. Watching interrogation video tape of Konca Kuris, her brother Mehmet Genc said Konca was tortured for 35 days. Hezbollah terrorists buried Konca in the basement, and washed the basement with diesel oil to prevent rotten smell.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

TRANSPORTATION OF PEOPLE IN REFRIGERATOR
Hezbollah terrorists transported the people they kidnapped in sofa beds or refrigerator city by city. Hezbollah terrorists never interrogated their victims in the city they kidnapped those people. The most brutal interrogation centers were set up in the organization's houses in central Konya and southeastern Gaziantep provinces. They narcotized their victims and put them to sleep, later they tied them up with band. The victims were later put into sofa beds or refrigerators. Terrorists made a hole in the sofa beds and refrigerators to enable their victims to breathe, and loaded them to vans for transportation to another cities.

100 BODIES IN KONYA
The Hezbollah terrorists, who were interrogated in Ankara, said they preferred Konya as the interrogation center for a long time, and they brought their victims to this city. They said a total of 100 people were killed in Konya. It was mentioned that Hezbollah terrorists interrogated people also in some other cities, and the number of their victims could rise to one thousand. After this interrogation, another grave house was found in Ankara, and a total of eight bodies were recovered.

EVEN ISLAMIC CLERGYMAN KILLS PERSON
Sadullah Arpa, who was detained in Ankara, confessed that he killed a person. Meanwhile, it was revealed that the murderer of Konca Kuris was a university student whose name is Edip. Police said Islamist feminist writer Kuris was tortured for 35 days and killed eight months ago.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

PAPANDREOU:''WE ARE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE ROAD''
Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou said Greek-Turkish relations entered a new era. ''We are at the beginning of the road. We have a lot more to accomplish,'' he said. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said Papandreou played a great role in Turkish-Greek rapprochement while Papandreou also praised Cem's efforts. About Turkey's integration with Europe, Papandreou said ''cooperation of businessmen is very important for Turkey's integration with Europe. We support this cooperation.''

KURIS WAS EXPOSED TO TORTURE FOR 38 DAYS
It has become certain that one of the four bodies found buried in Konya's Meram township belongs to Konca Kuris, the Islamist feminist who was kidnapped in 1998. It was claimed that Kuris, before murdered, was exposed to torture for 38 days. Mehmet Genc, Kuris' brother who identified her body said her sister was not a Hezbollah member but had friends from all circles who have various political views. Genc noted that she also could have had friends who were members of Hezbollah.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

TERROR!
Eight more bodies were found in a house, and the number of bodies found in last four days increased to 25. All of those eight bodies found in another cell house of Hezbollah in Kżonya are male. The victims were strangled to death. The number of bodies buried in that house is expected to increase. The number of people detained in operations against Hezbollah increased over to 200.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

8 MORE BODIES RECOVERED
During the excavations carried out against the terrorist organization Hezbollah, eight more bodies were recovered in Konya. The bodies were found buried naked in a pit in the basement of a two storey building. Authorities said they would continue excavations on Sunday.

KONCA KURIS' BODY IDENTIFIED
It has become certain that Konca Kuris, known as the Islamist feminist, who was kidnapped 1,5 years ago was killed by Hezbollah. It was found out that Kuris was strangled to death 8 months ago. Kuris' body was found in Konya's Meram township and later brought to Mersin for the funeral.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

FUNDAMENTALISM IS POLITICAL
Head of Religious Affairs Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz said, ''the people of faith must not be disturbed and unjustly treated due to their religious lives. While criticizing a movement, biased approaches like 'this is contrary to the religion' or 'this contradicts with secularism' should be avoided. These indiscriminate biased approaches may be provocative. The exploitation of both religion ano secularism should be prevented. There is not a religious or irreligious terrorism. Islam refuses murder without a reason. There is not any relation bteween 'Hezbollah' which is mentioned in holy Koran, and the brutal murders.''

CONTINUE TO FEEL COLD
The rains in coastal reions and snow in other regions paralyzed daily life throughout the country. Meteorology did not give us a piece of good news. Rainy weather coming from Central Mediterranean will affect Turkey as of today.

SECOND GRAVE HOUSE IN KONYA
Eight male bodies were found in the basement of a two-storey house in Selcuklu township of Konya. The bodies were sent to Selcuk University Medical Faculty for autopsy. Police fears that the number of bodies would rise.

[03] GERMANY TOPS LIST IN TURKISH TOURISM IN 1999

ISTANBUL - Despite the troubles Turkish tourism faced last year, Germany topped the list by sending 1 million 388 thousand tourists to Turkey. A total of 7 million 483 thousand tourists visited Turkey last year.

A drop of 23 percent was observed in the total number of tourists who came to Turkey in 1999 compared to figures of 1998. In 1998, tourists spent 7 billion 177 million U.S. dollars and this number dropped to 4.5 - 5 billion U.S. dollars in 1999.

German tourists topped the list both in 1998 and 1999. Germans were followed by tourists who came from Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, Britain, Romania, the U.S. and Iran in 1998.

Last year, 270 thousand French, 214 thousand Dutch, 146 thousand Greek, 259 thousand Bulgarian, and 201 thousand Israeli tourists visited Turkey. There were also tourists who came other countries including Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia and Oman.

On the other hand, Turkish tourists who went overseas increased to 4 billion 756 thousand 934 in 1999.

[04] EIGHT BODIES RECOVERED IN KONYA DURING OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORIST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION

KONYA - Eight bodies were recovered in the basement of a two storey house in Konya's Sakarya neighbourhood on Saturday during the operations carried out against the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

Eight victims who were all male were found buried naked in a pit. Sinasi Aygun, Acting Republic Prosecutor said the excavations would continue on Sunday and added that more bodies could be found in the area.

The bodies were rotten to the degree that they cannot be identified. An autopsy will be carried out on the bodies on Sunday.

Neighbours said the house was rented by a crowded family who sometimes told they were from Mersin and sometimes from Adana. The tenants left the house last May. They also noted that they saw women wearing chadors entering the house. Small trucks which came to the house were covered by canvas.

People who live in the area said those who lived in the house had very little contact with the outside world and did not talk to anybody. Women who lived in the house used to rush back to the house when they saw any men.

Four more bodies had been recovered earlier in a three storey building in Konya's Yunus Emre neighbourhood.

[05] QUAKE SCARES GERMAN TOURISTS IN 1999 BUT TURKISH TOURISM COULD RECOVER IN 2000

ISTANBUL - Two earthquakes that struck Turkey caused a decline in the number of German tourists and Turkish workers living in Germany who visited Turkey last year.

Such a dramatic drop was not observed even during the periods of serious economic and political crises Turkey went through in the past,

Vural Oger, Chairman of Oger-Turk Tour told A.A.

Oger said that 40,000 German tourists visited Turkey in the winter of 1998 and this number dropped to 2,000 in 1999.

Following the first quake, they had to add 10-15 flights everyday for the Turkish workers who escaped from the quake to Germany and for their relatives.

Oger noted that they organized tours mainly for the elderly tourists who stay in Turkey for two or three days between November 1 and March 31. However, there were only 2,000 German tourists who visited Turkey in 1999 within the framework of this programme while this number was as high as 40, 000 in 1998.

Despite all the negative effects of 1999, Oger said they were hopeful that 2000 will be a better year and added that the daily reservations reached 2, 500-3000 since the first days of January. In the last ten years there was a big boom in ticket sales in Germany, he said.

[06] NATIONWIDE OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORIST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION - MORE THAN 250 PEOPLE DETAINED

ANKARA - More than 250 people were detained in nationwide operations against terrorist Hezbollah organization.

Ankara Police said Mahmut Demir, Hezbollah's so-called responsible person for military who was taken into custody confessed that he killed nine people while Sadullah Arpa, an Islamic clergyman in Ankara, said he killed a person.

Sources said more than 250 people were detained in the operations launched against the terrorist Hezbollah organization in Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Mersin, Antalya, Konya, Bitlis, Van, Osmaniye, Batman, Diyarbakir, Siirt, Erzurum, Agri, Bingol, Gaziantep, Amasya, Bursa and Elazig provinces.

Police has recovered ten bodies in Istanbul, three bodies in Ankara and twelve bodies in Konya up until now.

[07] 6,605 REFUGEES APPLY TO UNHCR IN TURKEY TO BE SENT TO A THIRD COUNTRY

ISTANBUL - A total of 6,605 refugees who came to Turkey from the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe applied to United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) to go to a third country.

Metin Corabatir, Press Speaker of UNHCR's Ankara bureau said they received 6,339 applications from Middle Eastern countries, 191 from Asian countries, 72 from African countries and 3 from former Eastern Block countries.

Turkey signed the Geneva Agreement in 1951 a protocol in 1967 regarding the status of refugees, however fulfills its commitments to only those who come from European countries Corabatir explained.

Refugees whose applications are accepted are sent to the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand or north European countries by UNHCR which accepted the 40 percent of the applications.

Corabatir noted that those who escape from war like in Kosovo and Chechnya are immediately given refugee status. Those who are called ''urban refugees'' are the people who were exposed to pressure due to the activities of the opposition in their countries. If their applications are accepted, these people are also sent to a third country as a refugee.

Granting refugee status to a person is a sensitive issue, Corabatir noted. A person has to be considered a refugee if he can face cruelty once he is sent back to his country and there is an appeals system to prevent this, he explained.

In 1998, Turkey received 4,672 applications and UNHCR opened a bureau in the eastern province Van as the entrances increased from Iran and Iraq.

Placement of refugees take about 1,5 years after they officially make an application and they are provided help during this time. Currently there are 1,000 Kosovars and 750 Bosnians in Turkey. 170 Bosnian and 99 Kosovar refugees are hosted in Kirklareli's Gaziosmanpasa guesthouse. A majority of 18,000 Kosovar refugees who escaped to Turkey returned to their homes. Others are reluctant to go back to their countries as their homes are still occupied by the Serbs, Corabatir said.

Today there are 22 million refugees all around the world who live outside of their countries. Another 20-25 million people are forced to move to a different place in their own country.

UNCHR defines a refugee as a person who cannot or does not want to return to his country because of fearing of facing cruelty due to their race, religion, nationality, political views or the social group they belong to.

[08] NUMBER OF BODIES RAISES TO SIX IN TARSUS

TARSUS - The number of bodies excavated in Icel's Tarsus township raised to six when three more bodies were recovered by police.

One of the three bodies which were buried together was naked and the victims hands and feet were tied. The barn next to the field where the bodies were buried was used as a cell house by the terrorist roganization Hezbollah.

Excavations continue around the barn. Three more bodies were recovered earlier on Sunday two kilometers away from the spot.

Together with these six bodies in Tarsus, the total number of bodies recovered by police reached 31.

[09] NARCOTICS OPERATIONS IN ISTANBUL

ISTANBUL - In three separate operations in Istanbul, 2 tons and 80 kilograms of acid anhydrite which was intended to be sent to Iran, 1 million 651,000 German Marks and 913,000 Dutch Florine were seized. 12 people were taken into custody related to the incidents.

Police who followed some individuals seized 800 kilos of acid anhydrite in 40 containers, a gun, 51,000 German Marks and 3 cars. Police detained 5 people in the first operation in Kumburgaz district.

In a separate operation, narcotics teams seized 1 ton 280 kilograms of acid anhydrite, a truck which was used to transport the substance and one gun. It was reported that the substance was produced in Romania and was being taken to Iran.

In the meantime, 1.6 million German Marks and 913,000 Dutch Florines obtained from drug sales were seized at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport and two people were taken into custory related to the incident.

A.A


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