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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-26

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

26 January 2000 Wednesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 26, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

DON'T TELL IT TO ANGELS
The mufti of southern Tarsus province, who performed the ritual prayer during the funeral of imam Ahmet Aydın who was killed by the Hezbollah terrorists, called out to him during his last journey saying: ''When angels ask you how you died, don't tell this disgrace to them. Those who did this to you can't be human beings or Moslem.''

WILL VISA AGAINST TURKEY BE LIFTED?
German DPA and American AP news agencies announced that the European Union (EU) Commission proposed in its meeting held in Brussels yesterday that the visas applied against 48 countries including 13 candidate countries should be lifted. Turkey is among these countries. However, the EU sources said that Turkey has not started membership negotiations yet, so it can't be included in the list.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

TURKISH CAKE IN DAVOS
A Prime Minister will discuss 53 super projects with world's states of finance for the first time in World Economic Forum meeting that will be held in Davos. Ecevit will search for financial support for the giant projects of Turkey. The Public Economic Enterprises (KIT) which will also be privatized, will be introduced to other states in the meeting.

HEZBOLLAH IGNORED
One of the former state ministers and a deputy from the Motherland Party Eyup Asık said that ''I went to southern province of Batman in 1993 to investigate the murders committed by secret powers. I determined the existence of Hezbollah terrorist organization there depending on documents. But we closed our eyes to Hezbollah as it fought with the PKK terrorist organization.''

SABAH (LIBERAL)

STATE OVERPOWERS TERRORIST CHIEF
The state which entered Metris prison of Istanbul by staging an operation called ''Santa Claus,'' shaved Salih Mirzabeyoglu, the chief of the illegal terrorist organization Great Eastern Raiders Front (IBDA/C) yesterday. The terrorist chief has been rejecting to stand trial for one year. The security forces entered Metris prison and overpowered the inmates who revolted, for the first time after long years.

BE CAREFUL, THE COLDEST DAY!
The temperature will continue to decrease till Saturday this week. Transportation has been paralysed in many provinces of Turkey. The schools were closed for another day. Meteorologists warned people against frost, adding that the temparature will decrease sharply at night.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

MEMBER OF HEZBOLLAH: ''THERE ARE MANY GRAVES IN SOUTHEAST''
Abdulaziz Tunc, the member of illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization, attended the court session at the Diyarbakir State Security Court (DGM) No: 3. Addressing the session, Tunc claimed, ''abductions started in 1995. The Hezbollah determined that there were secret state agents in the organization. The Hezbollah kidnapped, killed, and buried its own members. Some of these members were killed because they had attempted to defect the Hezbollah. There are many graves in Southeastern Anatolia region, but I do not know their whereabouts. When I was captured, I showed all the graves I knew.''

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM STARTS
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will attend the World Economic Forum meetings which will be held in Davos, Switzerland, between January 27 and Fabruary 1. He is scheduled to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Prime Minister Ecevit will also come together with foreign investers who plan to make investments in Turkey, on Saturday.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

NSC TO CONVENE ON JANUARY 31
The National Security Council will convene on January 31 under the chairmanship of President Suleyman Demirel. The meeting is expected to foces on illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization.

UNREST IN METRIS PRISON
A total of 64 members of the illegal Islamic Great Eastern Raiders Front (IBDA/C) staged a protest against gendarmerie teams in the Metris Prison in Istanbul. Gendarmerie teams were preparing to take Salih Izzet Erdis, the leader of the illegal organization who is also known as ''Salih Mirzabeyoglu'', to the Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) for today's court session. When gendarmerie teams wanted to search the B-1 and B-2 wards where the members of IBDA/C have been imprisoned, prisoners barricaded themselves in the wards and set on fire blankets and mattresses. The unrest ended at 16:45 local time.

TURKISH ECONOMY TO BE DISCUSSED IN DAVOS
A report was prepared about business and investment opportunities in Turkey for the World Economic Forum which will convene in Davos, Switzerland, between January 27 and February 1. The 22-page report will be presented to the foreign investors by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. The report gives information about Turkey's strategic, political, and economic roles, the recent structural reforms in Turkey and Turkey's public sector investment opportunities in detail.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

425 MEMBERS OF HEZBOLLAH TAKEN INTO CUSTODY
Operations which began after the shootout between security forces and members of the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization in Beykoz ditrict of Istanbul on January 17, are continuing throughout Turkey. A total of 425 people were taken into custody in the operations.

TANTAN BRIEFS COALITION PARTNERS ON HEZBOLLAH
Saadettin Tantan, the Interior Minister, briefed coalition partners on the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization. Addressing journalists after the briefing, Hikmet Sami Turk, the Justice Minister, said, ''I had the impression that it is the most merciless and cruel one among the terrorist organizations I have ever learnt so far.'' Turk pointed out that the government was resolved to launch every kind of efforts to eradicate this organization.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

HEAVY SNOWFALL PARALYZES DAILY LIFE AND TRAFFIC THROUGHOUT TURKEY
Heavy snowfall paralyzes daily life and traffic throughout Turkey. Thousands of village roads were closed to the traffic due to the ice on roads. Highway teams are working to clear snow on the roads with snowblowers. Meanwhile, heavy snowfall destroyed a total of 154 tent- schools in the quake-stricken Duzce province. Orhan Ozturk, the Chairman of Duzce Crisis Desk, said that the tent-schools would be re-erected as soon as possible. Heavy snowfall is making daily life even more miserable in Duzce which was devastated in 7.2-magnitude earthquake on November 12.

CLSA GEM OPENS BUREAU IN ISTANBUL
Ian McCallum, the Turkey Chairman of the Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia Global Emerging Market (CLSA GEM), said that there was a great domestic investment potential in Turkey. McCallum staged a press conference to promote CLSA GEM's bureau in Istanbul which will become operational on February 15. Underlining the importance of Turkey's geographical location, McCallum stressed that they had choosen Istanbul as the center of the region including developing Mediterranean countries. The CLSA GEM Turkey Bureau will serve Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Northern African countries as finance counselor.

[03] BRIDGE OVER STRAIT ON AGENDA AGAIN

ANKARA - The project of the bridge over Canakkale Strait, which was suspended due to financial problems, was taken to agenda again on Wednesday.

Negotiations with various domestic and foreign company groups started to discuss the construction of the bridge by build-operate-transfer system. The bridge is foreseen to be constructed over Canakkale Strait by the Directorate General of Highways.

Public Works and Housing Ministry officials announced that various company groups particularly Spanish, British, and Japanese companies are interested in the construction of the bridge.

Officials said that the construction of the bridge by build-operate- transfer system is better than building it by foreign credits.

The Directorate General of Highways will determine the method that will be followed in the construction soon.

The project is foreseen to cost nearly 400 million dollars.

[04] MODERNIZATION OF F-4 WAR PLANES

ANKARA - Israel finalized modernization of two F-4 war planes.

The war planes will be handed over to the Turkish Air Forces in a ceremony in Eskisehir province on Thursday.

General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff; Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, the National Defense Minister; General Ergin Celasin, the Commander of Air Forces; and Israeli officials will attend the ceremony.

In accordance with the agreement signed between Turkey and Israel, 26 of 54 F-4 war planes will be modernized by the Israeli Aircraft Industry. Rest of the planes are expected to be modernized in Eskisehir.

Within framework of the agreement, two F-4 war planes were modernized in Tel-Aviv, Israel, under the supervision of Turkish military officials.

The F-4s are expected to be used till 2020.

[05] MILD EARTHQUAKES SHAKE AYDIN AND MUGLA

ISTANBUL - Mild earthquakes shook Germencik and Soke townships of Aydin province and Marmaris township of Mugla province in Aegean Region on Wednesday.

Officials at the Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute told the A.A correspondent that two moderate earthquakes measuring 3.4 and 3.3 on the Richter scale, were recorded in Germencik and Soke townships of Aydin province at 04:25 local time and 06:38 local time.

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occured in Marmaris township of Mugla province at 04:24 local time.

Meanwhile, an aftershock measuring 3.0 on the Richter scale, was recorded in Duzce province at 05:47 local time.

-<B>MUMCU, TOURISM MINISTER:</B>

ANKARA - Erkan Mumcu, the Tourism Minister, said on Wednesday that the reservations to Turkey increased by 5 to 10 percent compared with the figures of the last year.

Mumcu said that he would participate in tourism fairs in Europe to hold talks with representatives of leading travel agencies.

Mumcu noted that he would first visit the tourism fair in Spanish capital Madrid, and then proceed to Monaco from Madrid.

He noted, ''we will participate in an communication fair in Monaco. This fair will be useful to make use communication technology in promotion and marketing fields. Then, we will participate in tourism fairs in Austria and Germany.''

Erkan Mumcu will leave for Madrid on Thursday.

He is expected to return to Turkey from Germany on February 6.

Meanwhile, Vural Oger, the Chairman of Oger Travel Agency, expressed satisfaction over increasing reservations for holiday in Turkey.

Oger said, ''government's decision regarding Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization, has created a very positive atmosphere in Europe. It also diminish tourists' concerns. The decision has affected positively our sales. We expect number of tourists visiting Turkey to rise by 30 to 35 percent.''

[07] TIGHT SECURITY MEASURES FOR ISRAELI DIPLOMATS IN TURKEY

ANKARA - While the operations staged against the terrorist organization Hezbollah continue, the Israeli Embassy in Ankara applied to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday saying that it received information noting that its members could be attacked.

Israeli officials said that they took the necessary measures in the Israeli Embassy and its surroundings and they requested the Foreign Ministry to take further measures to protect the residences of Israeli diplomats and their cars.

Foreign Ministry conveyed the warnings of the Israeli Embassy to Directorate General of Security. The latter sent an instruction by fax to Ankara and Istanbul Security Directorates requesting them to take tight security measures around residences of Israeli diplomats.

The Directorate General of Security ordered the police units to guard the residences and cars for 24 hours.

The security measures were also intensified around Israeli Embassy in Cankaya district of Ankara.

[08] ANNAN, SECRETARY GENERAL OF U.N., DUE TO GENEVA FOR SECOND ROUND PROXIMITY TALKS

NEW YORK - Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations (U.N.) will go to Geneva, Switzerland, on January 29 to attend the second round proximity talks.

The second round proximity talks will start on January 31.

Annan is expected to attend only opening of the proximity talks, then he will return to New York.

The second round proximity talks will be held under supervision of Alvaro de Soto, the Adviser of Annan.

The negotiations are expected to last for ten days.

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources told the A.A correspondent that the third round proximity talks would be held after the presidential elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in April.

The third round proximity talks are expected to start in June.

Diplomatic sources also noted that Annan could offer shuttle diplomacy instead of proximity talks in accordance with the developments in the second round of talks.

[09] TURKISH-GREEK FRIENDSHIP CONCERT IN NEW YORK

NEW YORK - Turkish and Greek musicians will give a friendship concert ih New York, the U.S., on March 17.

Zulfu Livaneli and Maria Faranduri will participate in the concert named ''Peace Songs''

Uli Moritz, Stefan Dohanetz, Martin Rainer Lillich, Pascal Ernst, Ferhat Livaneli, Erdal Akkaya, Halil Karaduman, and Kemal Goksun Cavdar will also take stage at the concert.

[10] IFF SAYS 27 DEVELOPING ECONOMIES GIVE CLEAR INFORMATION TO INVESTORS REGULARLY

ANKARA/WASHINGTON D.C. - International Finance Institution (IFF) said on Tuesday that 27 developing economies including Turkish economy give clear and transparent information to investors regularly.

IFF thinks that the foreign capital will invest in countries which give more transparent information.

Thus a total of 190 billion dollars of indirect investment will be undertaken in countries including Turkey.

IFF carried out a survey on behalf of leading investment banks about developing countries about transparency and providing correct information.

Such kind of information also contribute to strengthening of international finance system, the IFF survey noted, adding that countries such as Turkey, Argentina, Thailand, Indonesia, and Poland publish more regular and transparent information about their economic situations for international markets.

IFF noted that the lack of correct information was effective in causing the financial crisis in 1997, adding that as the short-term debts of Russia and other Far East countries couldn't be monitored, the crisis escalated.

Institutions such as IMF and World Bank will attribute more importance to transparent economic information in their evaluations from now on, IFF stressed.

[11] CASE OF TERRORIST IBDA-C ORGANIZATION

ISTANBUL - The trial of Salih Izzet Erdis, the chief of the terrorist organization, Great Eastern Raiders Front (IBDA/C) and two suspects, started on Wednesday.

Erdis, the chief terrorist and the other suspects Saadettin Ustaosmanoglu and Mehmet Fazil Aslanturk, attended the court session heard before Istanbul State Security Court No. 6. The other suspect Husnu Goktas, who is not prisoned, didn't come to the court session.

The court hearing started at 11.10 local time.

Erdis, the chief terrorist had his hair cut and his beard shaved as journalists saw him when he was brought to the court.

Erdis and the other suspects never participated in court hearings after the case started. They sent a notice to the court for the hearing on November 10, 1999 that they protested the DGMs, the trial system and the laws, adding they didn't stand the trial upon their own wishes.

The court denounced the officials who couldn't bring Erdis and the other suspects to the court hearings.

The indictment prepared by Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) Chief Prosecution requests death penalty for Erdis under 146/1 of the Turkish Penal Court for ''attempting to overthrow the existing constitutional order by arms.'' While it requests heavy imprisonment changing from 15 and 22.5 years for Ustaosmanoglu ve Aslanturk for being members of an illegal organization, it requests 4.5 and 7.5 years for Husnu Goktas for abetting the members of the terrorist organization.

[12] DRUG TRAFFICKING IN VAN PROVINCE DECREASES 150 PERCENT

VAN - Drug trafficking in eastern Van province decreased 150 percent in 1999 when compared with that of 1998.

Zeki Catalkaya, the Chief of Van Police Organization, told A.A correspondent on Wednesday that the drug trafficking in Van province increased from 1992 to 1998.

However, the drug trafficking started to decrease in Van in 1999; Catalkaya said.

Catalkaya noted that the efficient measures that are taken, the decrease in terrorist actions, and the efficient struggle of the security teams can lead to the decrease in drug trafficking.

''In the end of our investigation, we saw that the drugs are taken from Pakistan to Iran. Then, the drugs are brought to Baskale and then to Van via Yuksekova township. We found out some production places in the region. We captured the heads of this drug trafficking. We think that the drug smugglers can change the route of the drug trafficking because of our operations,'' Catalkaya said.

Catalkaya stated that they seized 195.8 kilograms of hashish, 275.5 kilograms of heroin, 116.7 kilograms of morphine, 64.5 kilograms of opium in 1999.

They captured 123 persons who were involved in the drug trafficking, Catalkaya stressed.

Catalkaya added that they will continue to struggle against the drug trafficking.

[13] TURKEY-IRAN JOINT ECONOMIC COMMISSION'S MEETING

ANKARA - Turkey needs to develop its relations with its friend Iran in every field, mainly in trade and economy, State Minister Recep Onal said on Wednesday at the Joint Economic Commission meeting between Turkey and Iran.

Iranian Transportation Minister Mahmut Hucceti and Onal are supervising the talks on behalf of their countries.

Onal noted that the trade volume between the two countries dropped from 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in 1985 to 571 million U.S. dollars in 1999.

Oil constitutes a big part of the trade between Turkey and Iran, Onal noted and said forming a Turkish-Iranian Business Council would be very beneficial. Onal also proposed to start a cooperation between Turk Eximbank and Iranian Export Guarantee Fund to finance trade betweeen Turkey and Iran.

Another factor that would contribute to the development of trade is free regions and Turkey and Iran can benefit from the already existing free regions in both countries, Onal suggested.

Developments in border trade have been bad for Turkish economy, Onal went on to say. In 1998, Turkey's export in border trade to Iran was 11.3 million U.S. dollars and import was 166.1 million U.S. dollars and the same trend continued in 1999, he explained.

Onal also proposed to improve the infrastructure of Gurbulak-Bazargan customs gate which is the main transit gate between Turkey and Iran and said the Turkish side was carrying out works for this purpose.

Turkey and Iran must take measures to resolve problems related to transportation and these decisions should be implemented immediately, he said. The cooperation in the energy field must also be supported by concrete projects, Onal added.

Customs, bilateral trade and problems in border trade are expected to be discussed during the Joint Economic Commission's meeting which will end on January 28.

[14] STATE MINISTER ONAL: ''23 PROJECTS HAVE BEEN SENT TO DAVOS''

ANKARA - Recep Onal, the State Minister, said on Wednesday that 23 projects have been sent to Davos, where the World Economic Forum will be held.

Responding a question, Onal noted that the projects concern foreign capital and privatization.

Onal stated that to this end, Ugur Bayar, the Chairman of the Privatization Administration, went to Davos.

The government attributes importance to three items of the economic program, Onal stressed.

Onal listed these items as exports, tourism and the inflow of foreign capital.

In case all these items are implemented, Turkey will face new and different horizons; Onal added.

[15] STATE MINISTER MIRZAOGLU: ''WE ALSO INVESTIGATE THE FOREIGN CONNECTIONS OF THE ILLEGAL HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION''

KAZIMKARABEKIR - Ramazan Mirzaoglu, the State Minister, said on Wednesday that they also investigate the foreign connections of the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization which is committing merciless murders.

Speaking in Kazimkarabekir township of central Karaman province, Mirzaoglu noted that the state is against any kind of illegitimacy and that the success of the Turkish police in the operations deserves appreciation.

Mirzaoglu said, ''unfortunately, the illegal Hezbollah organization tortured our citizens. This torture cannot be reconciled with humanity. Operations are underway. We have seized all the information about the organization. We are carefully evaluating the information.''

It will not be correct to tell you about the information they received, Mirzaoglu stated.

Mirzaoglu stressed that such a terrorist organization cannot commit these murders only by its own powers.

''To this end, we investigate the foreign connections of the organization. We know that the head terrorist was trained in Iran and brought some information and documents from Iran to Turkey. We all investigate these,'' Mirzaoglu said.

Responding a question, Mirzaoglu, said, ''the terrorist organization PKK and Hezbollah are both bloody organization. However, the state will crush their heads.''

The state had earlier turned a blind eye to the actions of the illegal Hezbollah organization, Mirzaoglu emphasized.

Mirzaoglu said, ''the state never supports a terrorist organization. Can a state support an organization which is against itself? Why does a state support an organization which is against itself and its citizens? These are all slanders. But, some individuals in the state may be involved in this organization and may support this organization. We are investigating all these. If there are such persons, we will hand them over to the judicial organs.''

[16] ANKARA DGM SENTENCES 11 SUSPECTS TO 3 YEARS NINE MONTHS IMPRISONMENT TERMS ON GROUNDS THAT THEY AIDED AND ABETTED ILLEGAL TERRORIST HEZBOLLAH AND IBDA-C ORGANIZATIONS

ANKARA - Ankara State Security Court (DGM) no:2 on Wednesday sentenced 11 suspects to three years nine months imprisonment terms on charges that they aided and abetted the illegal terrorist Hezbollah and IBDA-C organizations. The second trial took place as Supreme Court earlier reversed the acquittal decision given in the first trial.

The suspects; Muttalip Ozci, Cemalettin Murat Akcaer, Hakki Simsek, Yusuf Simsek, Osman Yanikkaya and Bekir Hamurcu attended the trial togehter with their lawyer Mehmet Ali Bulut.

Bulut, the lawyer, reiterated their defense regarding the merits of the case, and called for the acquittal of his clients.

The suspects claimed that they were not quilty and asked for their acquittal.

Chief Judge Turgut Okyay said all the suspects were sentenced to four years six months imprisonent terms under Article 5 of the Anti-Terrorism Law. Okyay said their punishment was reduced to three years nine months imprisonment tersm under Article 59 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) regarding reduction of penalty. The Chief Judge also pointed out that the suspects will be deprived of public services for three years.

The indictment which was prepared by Hamza Keles, DGM Prosecutor, said the suspects, in a protest staged on October 4, 1996, chanted slogans supporting Hezbollah.

The indictment said the protest turned into a propaganda of Hezbollah and IBDA-C organizations, and noted that, ''the protesters acted like the force of Hezbollah and IBDA-C.''

The indictment said IBDA-C was an armed organization, and that its target was to form ''United Islam State'', adding that the target of the terrorist Hezbollah organization, having armed actions, was to ''overthrow the constitutional order and establish an Iranian model theocratic state.''

[17] 26 PERSONS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY IN ADANA

ADANA - A total of 26 persons were taken into custody in southern Adana province on Wednesday within the framework of operations carried out against the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization.

Officials told A.A correspondent that nine of the detained persons were handed over to Adana State Security Court (DGM) while the interrogation of 17 others continue.

Two guns which were seized in the searches staged in the house of Mehmet Emin Ekici, the so-called military flank responsible of the illegal Hezbollah organization, underwent ballistics examination, the officials said.

The officials noted that one of the guns was not used in a murder but the other was used in an unsolved murder which was committed in southern Mersin province.

Ekici confirmed this during his interrogation in Adana, the officials stated.

The officials stressed that many persons were handed over to top members of the organization after being interrogated in the house of Enver Kaplan, the so-called Adana responsible of the terrorist Hezbollah organization.

During the investigations and interrogations they hear the name of ''Haci Inan'', who is being tried in the case regarding the killing of two teachers in Tarsus township and who has a warrant of arrest in absentia, the officials emphasized.

The officials added that as this person is captured, the question marks about the organization will be clarified.

[18] RECENT THREATS OF TERRORIST ASALA ORGANIZATION

ANKARA - Sermet Atacanli, Deputy Spokesman of Foreign Ministry, said on Wednesday that the Turkey will not be afraid of the recent threats of terrorist Asala organization.

When recalled the threats of terrorist Asala organization included in a statement which it issued on the 25th anniversary of its foundation, that ''it will carry out its struggle against Turkey'', Atacanli said, ''Turkey will neither consider the terrorist organization as interlocutor, not will be afraid of the threats of the terrorist organization.''

Atacanli told a news conference that past experiences showed that nobody will lead to anywhere with terrorism.

[19] 9 PERSONS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY IN GAZIANTEP

GAZIANTEP - Nine persons were taken into custody in southeastern Gaziantep province on Wednesday within the framework of the operations carried out against the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization.

Hasim Tunc, the Deputy Chief of Gaziantep Police Organization, said that they have launched operations since December 1999 to capture the members of the illegal Hezbollah organization and seize the organizational documents and weapons.

A total of 65 persons have been taken into custody until today, Tunc noted.

Tunc stated that the suspects said in their interrogation that Abdulsamet Sakik; the Provincial Chairman of People's Labour Party (HEP) and the brother of Semdin and Arif Sakik, the leaders of the terrorist organization PKK; was killed by the Hezbollah organization on November 3, 1992.

They have seized two weapons, 114 rockets, 30 million Turkish liras, a car, a minibus, and many organizational documents during the operations, Tunc stressed.

Tunc said, ''we will continue to stage operations in our province against the illegal bloody terrorist Hezbollah organization which aims at diving the country, at overthrowing the constitutional order and establishing a state like Iran, at abducting and killing some citizens for its targets.''

[20] TURKEY-EU

ANKARA - Economic Development Foundation (IKV) Chairman Meral Gezgin Eris wrote that ''Turkey's integration with the European Union (EU) was a criteria of success from the view point of the EU'' in an article appeared in a monthly magazine, ''Economic Forum'' published by Turkey Chambers and Commodity Exchanges Union (TOBB) on Wednesday.

Eris, in his article which focuses on Turkey-EU relations, said political instability from which Turkey sometimes suffered was reflected to its relations with the EU and created problems in the past.

Until recently, the EU viewed Turkey as a country which should be kept away from rather than a future member, Eris said. For the first time in the history of the EU, a ''Turkey strategy'' was formed at the Helsinki summit, he noted.

Following the positive decisions taken at the Helsinki summit, Turkey will go through very important structural changes that will last for decades and these decisions will raise Turkish economy and democracy standards to an unimaginable point even in the short term, Eris said.

Eris said the EU, despite some political mistakes, created consensus on a series of subjects and listed these as follows in his article:

-To form the economic and political stability which would prevent hot clashes that take place in the Balkans and Caucasia.

-To prevent the spread of chaos and instability in Russia to countries neighbouring Russia by creating a unity in these countries.

-The EU agreed that entrance to growing Asian markets and other markets in the Middle East, Caucasia, Balkans, and Central Asia would not be healthy without a strong integration with Turkey.

-The EU acknowledged that the recent legal changes and reforms Turkey underwent recently are encouraging and indicate development.

-Suspension of relations between Turkey and the EU which began after the Luxembourg summit has to end from the view points of both Turkey and the EU.

[21] ITALIAN FOREIGN TRADE MINISTER FASSINO TO COME TO TURKEY ON FEBRUARY 15

ROME - Italian Foreign Trade Minister Pietro Fassino will come to Turkey on February 15 for an official visit.

Silvia Pellicciari from the Foreign Trade Ministry told A.A that Fassino will have meetings with diplomacy and business circles in Istanbul and Ankara during his visit which will last until February 17.

Fassino will be accompanied by representatives from various business groups. It was stated that Fassino's visit aimed to develop trade and economic relations between Turkey and Italy.

[22] TURKISH-GREEK JOURNALISTS CONFERENCE TO TAKE PLACE IN ATHENS

ISTANBUL - ''The First Turkish-Greek Journalists Conference'' will take place in Athens between February 5 and 6.

Oktay Eksi, Chairman of Press Council, issued a written statement and noted that the conference will be held to boost dialogue between Turkish and Greek journalists, and to prevent misleading of the peoples of the two countries with misinformation. He said Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou will participate in the conference.

Eksi said foreign ministers of the two countries will brief the journalists about the elements which influence the relations of the two countries.

Recalling that 11 Greek journalists visited Istanbul in October, Eksi said a Contact Group, composed of three Turkish and three Greek journalists, was formed in the end of the talks.

Eksi noted that members of the Conference Contact Group in Athens staged the conference, adding that the second conference will convene in Istanbul. He said the date will be determined in Athens.

Eksi pointed out that a 40-people group composed of scientists, diplomats and experienced journalists, will attend the conference in Athens.

[23] AVALANCHE FALLS IN TERCAN TOWNSHIP, KILLING ONE

TERCAN - Avalanche fell in Tercan township of eastern Erzincan province on Wednesday, killing one person.

Officials told A.A correspondent that Alisan Sekerli, 34, died as avalanche fell on himself in Konarli village of Erzincan where he went to take potable water from a fountain.

The dead body of Sekerli was pulled under the snow by his relatives.

[24] IBDA/C TRIAL ADJOURNED FOR 21 DAYS

ISTANBUL - The trial of illegal fundamentalist IBDA/C organization was adjourned for 21 days.

The trial of Salih Izzet Erdis, the leader of the terrorist IBDA/C organization, Saadettin Ustaosmanoglu, Mehmet Fazil Aslanturk and Husnu Goktas, three other suspects, was held on Wednesday.

Four lawyers of the suspect said that they give up defending the suspects.

Hasan Olcer, one of the lawyers of Erdis, claimed that his clients were subjected to inhuman treatment and that the lawyers were also taken into custody in front of the prison yesterday.

The legal rights of their clients are extorted and to this end, they will not defend their clients by thinking that it will not be a fair trial, Olcer alleged.

Later, the four lawyers left the court hall.

After Sedat Karagul, the Chief Judge of the Court, read out the indictment; Erdis started to defend himself.

Erdis said, ''I have not participated in the earlier court sessions as my imprisonment is not legal. When I decided to attend the court sessions, some incidents took place yesterday.''

Erdis noted that he wanted to submit a written defense. Erdis said that he had earlier made a preparation but his defense was lost yesterday.

Then, Karagul asked Erdis how much time he wants to prepare his written defense.

Erdis said that they want one or one and a half month time to prepare a wide-scale defense.

When Karagul asked why Erdis did not prepare his defense although one year and 26 days have passed since the trial process started, Erdis reiterated that his defense file was burned yesterday.

The other three suspects also asked for some time to prepare their written defense. They added that their defense files were also burned yesterday.

When Karagul asked who burned the defense files, Aslanturk claimed, ''during the incident, the walls of the prison broke into pieces. The files were burned by the things that the soldiers threw.''

Then, the court delegation adjourned the trial for 21 days to give time to the suspects to prepare their defense.

The indictment which was prepared by Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) Republican Chief Prosecutor's Office, requested capital punishment for Erdis under the Article 146 of the Turkish Penal Code. The court requested this punishment on charges of attempting to change the present constitutional order by force.

The indictment requested heavy imprisonment terms ranging from 15 to 22.5 years for Saadettin Ustaosmanoglu and Mehmet Fazil Aslanturk on charges of being the members of an illegal organization.

The indictment also requested heavy imprisonment term ranging from 4.5 and 7.5 years for Husnu Goktas on charges of aiding and abetting the members of the illegal organization.

[25] ANOTHER SHELTER BELONGING TO ILLEGAL HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION FOUND IN HASANKEYF TOWNSHIP

BATMAN - Another shelter belonging to the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization, was found in Hasankeyf county of Batman province on Wednesday within the framework of the operations carried out against the terrorist Hezbollah organization.

The gendarme teams found another shelter in Ucyol village which was used by the illegal Hezbollah organization to interrogate the persons whom it abducted.

Thus, the number of shelters found in Ucyol village increased to five.

All the shelters were destroyed by the security forces.

[26] SAHIN, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF CAUCASUS-CHECHEN SOLIDARITY COMMITEE: - ''WE HAVE LAUNCHED AN AID CAMPAIGN FOR THE CHECHENS''

ANTALYA - Eyup Sahin, the Deputy Chairman of Caucasus-Chechen Solidarity Committee, said on Wednesday that they have launched an aid campaign for the Chechens.

Sahin told in a press conference that the people are made homeless and experience genocide in Chechnya.

They support the campaign which was launched by the Istanbul committee, Sahin noted.

Sahin said, ''the necessary legal permission has been taken from the official authorities. The Antalya committee will help the Chechens within the fromework of the laws. We want the participation of all the official and private institutions, citizens and the journalists in this campaign.''

Those who want to participate in the campaign, can deposit money in the account which was opened in Findikzade Branch of the Garanti Bank, Sahin added.

[27] SUSPENSION OF POLITICAL IMMUNITIES OF 16 DEPUTIES TO BE DISCUSSED ON THURSDAY

ANKARA) - Constitution-Justice Joint Commission will convene on Thursday to decide on the 32 files about 16 deputies whose political immunities could be suspended.

The Joint Commission will discuss the reports prepared by 5 Preparation Commissions about 32 files.

The commissions, in their reports, suggested to suspend only Elazig deputy Mehmet Agar's political immunity for involvement in ''gangs, using fake documents and neglecting his duty'' and postpone the suspension of other immunities to a later date.

The commissions' decisions regarding other deputies will be read out at the General Council. If not opposed within ten days, the decision to postpone the suspension will gain certainity.

Below is the list of deputies whose political immunity could be suspended.

Aydin Ayaydin, Motherland Party (ANAP), Istanbul; Mehmet Agar, independent, Elazig; Nazli Ilicak, Virtue Party (FP) deputy, Istanbul; Akif Gulle, FP deputy Amasya; Mustafa Tasar, ANAP deputy, Gaziantep; Ufuk Soylemez, True Path Party (DYP), Izmir; Mustafa Eren, DYP deputy, Istanbul; Hayri Kozakcioglu, DYP deputy, Istanbul; Dogan Baran, DYP deputy, Nigde; Mukerrem Levent, National Movement Party, Nigde; Nurettin Atik, DYP deputy, Diyarbakir; Cevat Ayhan, FP deputy, Sakarya; Gonul Alphan, Democratic Left Party (DSP) deputy, Amasya; Hasan Ercelebi, DSP deputy, Denizli; Kemal Celik, DYP deputy, Antalya; and Cengiz Aydogan, ANAP deputy, Antalya.

[28] RED CRESCENT SETS UP NEW TENTS IN DUZCE

DUZCE - The Red Crescent is setting up new tents in Duzce province where the tents collapsed due to the heavy snowfall.

The snowfall which started late on Tuesday, led to the collapse of many tents in Duzce.

To this end, the Red Crescent started to set up new tents to replace the tents which collapsed.

The quake survivors, most of whom are living in summer tents, try to survive in the severe weather conditions.

The thickness of the snow reached 40 centimetres in the centrum of Duzce while it is 1.5 metres in the high places.

The Golkaya, Akcakoca, Cumayeri, Kaynasli and Gumusova village roads were closed to traffic.

The highway teams try to re-open the roads to traffic.

Bolu province sent 12 bulldozers, 84 work machines, and two vehicles to Duzce.

[29] HASIMI AND ESIN, INDEPENDENT DEPUTIES, JOIN ANAP

ANKARA - Hasan Hasimi, independent deputy from Diyarbakir, and Celal Esin, independent deputy from Agri, joined on Wednesday the Motherland Party (ANAP).
Speaking in the meeting held on this occasion, Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of ANAP, said that also Mehmet Agrili, the Mayor of Diyadin township of eastern Agri province, joined ANAP.

Hasimi and Esin had earlier resigned from the Virtue Party (FP).

The new distribution of the seats at the parliament is as follows:

Democratic Left Party (DSP) .......................... 136

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) .......................... 127

Virtue Party (FP) .......................... 105

Motherland Party (ANAP) .......................... 87

True Path Party (DYP) .......................... 85

Independent .......................... 6

Vacant .......................... 4

Total .......................... 550

[30] OZAR, ECO SECRETARY GENERAL: ''THE CULTURAL COOPERATION IS IMPROVING AMONG THE MEMBER COUNTRIES''

TEHRAN - Onder Ozar, the Secretary Genaral of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), said on Wednesday that the cultural cooperation is improving among the members of the ECO.

Speaking in the opening ceremony of the Second Meeting of the Board of Trustee of the ECO Culture Institute, Ozar noted that the cultural connections among ECO countries should be improved.

The cultural weeks and other cultural activities which are being staged in the recent months, indicated that the cultural exchange increased among the ECO members, Ozar stated.

Ozar recalled that the ECO Cultural Institution By-Law was adopted in Islamabad in 1995.

Only Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan signed and ratified this by- law, Ozar stressed.

Ozar emphasized that Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Turkmenistan signed the by-law but the necessary authorities of these countries have not ratified this by-law.

The domestic institutions of these four members should ratify this by-law as soon as possible to improve the cultural cooperation among ECO countries, Ozar pointed out.

Ozar wished that Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzistan would become the members of ECO Cultural Institute to improve the coordination and solidarity among the member countries.

Ataullah Mohacerani, the Iranian Culture Minister and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, also called for the improvement of the cultural cooperation among the member countries.

The meeting in which the delegations from Turkey, Iran, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan participate, is expected to end today.

[31] ICEL SECURITY DIRECTOR BAHCEKAPILI:''EVERYONE WHO WAS INVOLVED IN MUDER OF KONCA KURIS WAS CAPTURED''

MERSIN - Icel Security Director Haluk Bahcekapili said on Wednesday that Labour Party (IP) Tarsus Chairman Huseyin Parlatici was killed by the terrorist organization Hezbollah in 1995.

During a press briefing, Bahcekapili said the interrogation of 19 people who had links with Hezbollah was completed. The accused will be sent to the court on Wednesday. He also stated that Hezbollah was responsible for the killing of Parlatici in 1995.

All Hezbollah terrorists who were involved in the kidnapping and killing of Konca Kuris have been captured, he said.

During the operations in Icel, security forces found 2 houses, 1 shelter, many ammunition, one car and organizational documents owned by Hezbollah.

[32] TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO TOKYO BASKUT DENIES RUMOURS THAT JAPANESE EARTHQUAKE AID IS MISSING

ANKARA - Turkish Ambassador in Tokyo, Yaman Baskut denied rumours that the earthquake aid sent by Japan to Turkey was missing and added that ''nobody had the right to hamper relations between the two countries.''

In a written statement, Baskut said, the article that appeared in Shukan Bunshun magazine had baseless claims ''which had nothing to do with reality.'' ''Shuakn Bunshun is a magazine which has a circulation of 640, 000 and is famous for publishing scandalous news,'' he noted.

The article which carried the headline ''Japanese quake aid disappeared'' caused big disappointment in the Turkish side, Baskut said.

He reminded that they held a joint press briefing with the Japanese Foreign Ministry on October 5, 1999 where they gave information about the aid and expenses. Following the article, the Turkish Embassy staged another press briefing and gave detailed information about the donations and expenses.

''Japanese people have been extremely sensitive about helping quake survivors. Donations collected at the Turkish Embassy's account number exceeded 9 million U.S. dollars. Quake survivors will never formet the solidarity of the Japanese society. Noboby has the right to cast a shadow upon this solidarity,'' Baskut said.

[33] IMKB SECOND SESSION

ISTANBUL - The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) National-100 Index in Wednesday's second session increased 322.81 points to 18,014.37, and shares gained 1.82 in value compared with prices at the close of today's first session.

At the close of the second session, the financial index increased 571.77 points to 24,372.40, the service index climbed 17.32 points to 18,322.03 and the industrial index rose 90.87 points to 12,503.96.

The financial shares gained 2.40 percent in value, the services shares gained 0.09 percent in value and the industrial shares gained 0.73 percent in value while compared with previous session close.

A total of 112 of the 286 shares gained in value, 99 shares lost in value while the prices of 75 shares didn't change.

The trading volume in the second session was 286.4 trillion Turkish Liras.

[34] REACTION TO FP LEADER KUTAN'S STATEMENT IN HIS PARTY GROUP MEETING

ANKARA - General Staff issued a statement on Wednesday regarding the statements of Recai Kutan, leader of the Virtue Party (FP), issued in his party group meeting on Tuesday. The statement of General Staff pointed out that, ''representatives of this mentality who made such statements are the sources of fundamentalism in Turkey, and those who have the biggest share in reaching of fundamentalism to this level.'' The statement said, ''political parties who represent this mentality have been closed down three times by the Constitutional Court so far.''

The written statement issued by General Staff General Secretariat said, ''the leader of a political party, in his speech issued on 25 January 2000 regarding the terrorist Hezbollah organization, said, 'why didn't those who considered seven people in Sincan township as potential criminals, drove their tanks on Hezbollah murderers instead of Sincan? And why wasn't Hezbollah mentioned in fundamentalism briefings?' The statement expressed regret that the leader of the political party was in an effort to blame Turkish Armed Forces unjustly and in an improper way with such statements.

As Turkish nation knows very well, fundamentalism is still the primary threat aiming to abolish the basic qualities of the Republic and to establish a state basing on the principles of sharia, the statement pointed out, adding that the recent incidents revealed once again that this evaluation is realistic.

The statement said although Turkish Armed Forces was in an effort to remain outside politics, unfortunately, several people and institutions continue their efforts to include Armed Forces into the politics against the interests of the country.

The statement said the citizens knew very well that those people who have this mentality, did not have the right to make use of this by distorting Hezbollah incident.

It said, ''political parties which represent this mentality have been closed down three times by the Constitutional Court,'' adding that Constitutional Court confirmed that this political mentality extended support to fundamentalism and helped it to grow.

''It is clear that those who represent this mentality are not right to exploit and distort Hezbollah incident,'' the statement said adding that ''it was also clearly seen that they were in panic of the guilt.''

The statement said Turkish Armed Forces was the guarantee of democratic, secular, and legal state qualities of the Republic mentioned in Turkish Constitution.

''To this end, Turkish Armed Forces, in the February 28 process, revealed the dangerous dimensions which the fundamentalist threat reached against secular Republic, during the briefings,'' the statement said, adding that ''in these briefings, all required warning informations were given about terrorist Hezbollah and IBDA-C organizations together with all other fundamentalist focuses. Also, Turkish Armed Forces voiced this issue many times in constitutional bases.''

''Nevertheless, those who are in panic of the guilt, exhibit a hostile attitude against Turkish Armed Forces in order to defend themselves, and involved in efforts to distort the facts,'' it said.

As a matter of fact, owners of this mentality, seem to have forgotten the Hezbollah demonstration in Jerusalem Night, staged by Sincan municipality in the year 1997, the statement said, pointing out that these incidents which occurred in front of the public, showed once again the rightfulness of February 28 process, and that threat of fundamentalism continued.

The statement pointed out that Turkish nation should know that Turkish Armed Forces is against exploitation of our sublime religion and holy beliefs of our nation for political and economic interests, and its exploitation as a means of separatism. ''In this respect, Turkish Armed Forces does not make concession from the loyality of secularism principle which protects it from the exploitations and a guarantee keeping our religion in the holy framework.''

''The obvious mentality, which has the secret aim of establishing a state basing on the principles of sharia, considers Turkish Armed Forces as the biggest obstacle in materializing its target,'' the statement said, adding that, ''Turkish Armed Forces, with the support of our nation, will not allow this mentality to reach its targets.''

[35] AFTERSHOCK SHAKES ADAPAZARI, QUAKE ROCKS BINGOL

ISTANBUL - An aftershock shook Adapazari province while a quake rocked eastern Bingol province on Wednesday.

Officials of Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory Center and Seismology Institute said that an aftershock measuring 2.7 was recorded in Adapazari at 4.00 p.m. local time.

A quake measuring 2.6 rocked Karliova township of Bingol province at 1.45 p.m. local time while another quake measuring 3.1 shook Genc township of Bingol at 3.29 p.m. local time, the officials added.

[36] GENERAL STAFF'S STATEMENT ABOUT FP

ANKARA - High-level officials of the Virtue Party (FP) are holding a meeting to discuss the latest situation after the statement which was issued on Wednesday by the General Staff upon Recai Kutan's speech at the FP Parliamentary Group meeting on Tuesday.

The General Staff's statement was submitted to Recai Kutan of the FP following the Chairmanship Council meeting at the FP Headquarters in Ankara during which the latest political developments were discussed.

Later, Recai Kutan; Ertan Yulek, a senior aide of Kutan; Oguzhan Asilturk, a FP deputy from Malatya and a member of the General Management Board; and Bahri Zengin, a FP deputy from Istanbul and a member of the General Management Board, came together to discuss and evaluate the latest situation.

Meanwhile, FP officials declined to comment on the General Staff's statement but it was seen that the news item of the Anadolu Agency (A.A) about the issue was read by all members of Parliament.

Several journalists came to the FP Headquarters following the General Staff's statement.

[37] OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORIST HEZBOLLAH - 690 PEOPLE DETAINED IN 33 PROVINCES

ANKARA - A total of 690 people have been detained in the nation-wide operations against the terrorist Hezbollah organization.

Security officials told the A.A correspondent that a total of 690 people had been taken into custody in the operations which were launched firstly in Istanbul and later spreaded throughout the country.

Officials said operations were lanuched in 33 provinces, and some of the operations were concluded.

Officials said 53 people had been tried by the State Security Court, and 27 of them were arrested and sent to prison.

[38] GENERAL STAFF'S STATEMENT ABOUT FP - KUTAN OF FP SAYS HIS SPEECH WAS QUOTED FROM A COLUMNIST OF A NEWSPAPER

ANKARA - Recai Kutan of the Virtue Party (FP) said on Wednesday that his speech, which was the cause of the General Staff's statement, was quoted from a columnist of a newspaper, adding, ''wrong and deficient information has been given to the General Staff Secretariat General.''

Following the General Staff's statement, Recai Kutan and his senior aides held a meeting which lasted nearly 3.5 hours.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kutan said, ''the General Staff Secretariat General has issued a statement today. This speech was totally quoted from a column of a well-known columnist of a newspaper on January 24, 2000.''
''It was understood that the General Staff was given wrong and deficient information. We, as the FP, are against all of the terrorist organizations. We want the state carry out very serious and effective struggle against every organization resorting to brute force. However, the struggle has to be carried out in accordance with the laws,'' he said.

''The FP is the political party which mostly struggles for the real settlement of democratic, secular and social state of law which is foreseen by the Constitution,'' he said.

''If the speech is evaluated carefully, it can be understood that it is composed of statements of several columnists and even some political party officials,'' he said.

''What belongs to our party in that speech is that we, as the FP, don't want to believe that the Hezbollah was shielded by the state,'' he added.

When asked whether that speech might affect closure case against the FP, Kutan said, ''these are two separate issues.''

[39] OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORIST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION - TWO HEZBOLLAH TERRORISTS ARRESTED IN ADANA

ADANA - Two terrorists of the terrorist Hezbollah organization were arrested by the Adana State Security Court (DGM) on Wednesday.

Sources said the 9 people who were captured during the operations launched in southern Adana province against the terrorist Hezbollah organization, were transferred to the Adana DGM after interrogation by police.

The Adana DGM arrested two terrorists while it decided to release seven other people.

Meanwhile, the Adana Police continues to interrogate the 17 people who were captured during the operations.

A.A


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