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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-27

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

27 January 2000 Thursday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 27, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

''YOU ARE THE SOURCE''
General Staff gave a harsh response to Virtue Party (FP) saying that ''you are the source of Hezbollah.'' General Staff statement said, ''political parties who represent this mentality have been closed down three times by the Constitutional Court so far.'' The statement pointed out that, '' 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.''

THE HEAD OF IBDA/C BROUGHT IN FRONT OF JUSTICE
Salih Izzet Erdis (Mirzaoglu), the head of terrorist IBDA-C organization, who earlier said, ''I don't obey the state and the courts'' gave his testimony in State Security Court (DGM) on Wednesday. Erdis was taken from his ward with an operation. Erdis and the other terrorists of IBDA/C turned the ward into a ''nest of terrorism.'' In his trial Erdis said, ''I was planning to come to the court, yet my defense was burnt.''

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

LIKE A HORROR FILM
The leaders of the government could watch Hezbollah tape only 10 minutes. Devlet Bahceli, Deputy Prime Minister, Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), and Husamettin Ozkan, Deputy Prime Minister were terrified by the tape which showed the killing of a person by the terrorist Hezbollah organization.

UKRANIAN FREIGHTER COLLIDES WITH PASSENGER SHIP IN THE STRAIT
An Ukranian-flagged cargo ship collided with a passenger ship off-shore Kabatas in Istanbul Strait on Wednesday. Sources said the Ukranian-flagged ''Aleksandi Asafkin'' freighter which was carrying 740 tons of citrus fruits from Mersin Port to the Ukraine collided with a passanger ship ''Ilker Karter'' off-shore Kabatas at about 18:15 local time. The Ukranian- flagged cargo ship was stopped off-shore Sariyer while the passenger ship was towed to the Kabatas port. Officials said the passenger ship leaked water.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

RESPONSE FROM GENERAL STAFF TO KUTAN
The military made the most harsh reaction on Wednesday since February 28. The statement issued by 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.''

TERROR BASE OF IBDA-C
The soldiers who took out Mirzabeyoglu, the head of the terrorist IBDA-C organization, and 63 other terrorists, from their ward were shocked as they met an ammunition store. Everything, like the weapons and firebombs, that was required for a clash, was existing in the ward.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

''FP IS THE SOURCE OF FUNDAMENTALISM''
General Staff accused Virtue Party (FP) leader Recai Kutan of being in the panic of the guilt. General Staff issued a statement on Wednesday and said, ''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.'' ''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.

TWO PEOPLE FROZEN TO DEATH
As cold weather continues to be effective thoughout the country, two people were frozen to death. Hazim Cetinkaya (51) , who was living alone in Alacasar village in central Anatolian Nevsehir province, was frozen to death in his house. Also, 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.

RADIKAL (LEFT) SUSPENSION OF POLITICAL IMMUNITIES OF 16 DEPUTIES TO BE
DISCUSSED TODAY
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.

PRESS BRIDGE WITH GREECE
''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.

TURKIYE (RIGHT) MIRZABEYOGLU IN FRONT OF JUSTICE
Salih Izzet Erdis, having nickname ''Salih Mirzabeyoglu'', who was arrested and detained by State Security Court (DGM) in 1998 on charges of being the member of the illegal terrorist organization, was brought in front of justice after one year. The accused said his defense was burnt during the incidents in prison, and wanted time from the court. The trial was adjourned.

TREASURY ISSUES TEN-YEAR MATURITY 750 MILLION EUROS DEBENTURE BONDS IN EURO
MARKET

Treasury Undersecretariat raised 750 million Euros through a ten-year maturity debenture bond issue in the Euro market on Wednesday.

Treasury Undersecretariat, in a written statement, said the JP Morgan and Dresdner Bank were authorized for the debenture bond issue, and the annual coupon interest rate of the debenture bonds, which were issued within this framework, became 9.25 percent. Treasury, which issued 30-year maturity 1.5 billion U.S. dollars debenture bonds in January within the framework of the 2000 year foreign borrowing programme, for the first time issued debenture bond in the Euro market this year.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE) THE KEY: ABIT TASAN
Abit Tasan, who introduced the kidnapped businessmen with Huseyin Velioglu, the leader of terrorist Hezbollah organization, was taken into custody in Istanbul. The dead bodies of the kidnapped businessmen had been found in a house in Uskudar district, and Velioglu had been killed in an operation in Beykoz district.

Seven people, including Abit Tasan and Raif Cicek, were taken into custody on January 3 on grounds that they have links with the kidnapping. There was suspicion that Tasan and Cicek, who were interrogated for two days, could have links with terrorist Hezbollah organization. It was also said that Tasan can clarify the relationship between Huseyin Velioglu and the person having ''Green'' code name.

[03] FOREIGN BORROWING - TREASURY TO TRY SAMURAI FOR THIRD FOREIGN BORROWING THIS YEAR

ANKARA, Jan 27 (A.A) - Treasury, which raised 1.5 billion U.S. dollars from the Global bond market through 30-year maturity debenture bond issue, and 750 million Euros from the Euro market through 10-year maturity debenture bond issue in January, is now planning to realize the third foreign borrowing from the Japanese Samurai market.

Sources said Treasury which wanted to enter the Samurai market in February or March, asked the Japanese rating organization JCR to make its evaluation rather early.

JCR observed the Turkish market and economy last week.

JCR, which carries out observations on the Turkish economy annually and mostly issues the report once in two months, will issue its report once in every two weeks.

The countries, which want to enter the Samurai market, launch the initiative for debenture bond issue after the JCR's report.

Treasury, which targeted almost six billion U.S. dollars foreign borrowing this year, is planning to vary borrowing opportunities and markets, and re- enter the Samurai market after 4.5 years.

JCR confirmed ''BB'' rating for Turkey in November 1997.

[04] FM CEM DUE TO BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

BRUSSELS, Jan 27 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, will go to Belgium and Luxembourg after completing his contacts in Davos where he will participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF) meetings.

Cem will hold officials contacts in Brussels on January 31, 2000.

He will meet with Guenter Verheugen, the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Enlargement, and Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, in Brussels within the framework of the technical and political dialogue following the official announcement of Turkey's EU candidacy.

Cem will proceed to Luxembourg on February 1, 2000 where he will visit the European Investment Bank.

After completing his contacts and visits, Cem is expected to return to Turkey on February 2, 2000.

[05] THOSE WHO DIED WHILE RESISTING BRITISH COLONY ADMINISTRATION, COMMEMORATED IN TRNC

LEFKOSA, Jan 27 (A.A) - The Turkish Cypriots who died while resisting British Colony Administration, were commemorated in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Thursday.

The first official ceremony for ''January 27-28 Resistance and Martyrs'' was held at the Lefkosa Martyrs Monument.

The second official ceremony for commemorating the 42th anniversary of the resistance against the British Colony Administration, was staged in Kucukkaymakli Cemetery where the martyrs were buried.

Ertan Ersan, the Chairman of the Martyrs' Families and War Veterans' Association, said that the 27-28 January resistance was a significant turning point in the history of the Turkish Cypriots.

The Turkish Cypriots rebelled against the Greek Cypriot-Greek attacks and the British Colony Administration, Ersan noted.

Ersan stated that the British Colony Administration tolerated and encouraged the attacks of the Greek Cypriots and the Greeks which aimed at eliminating the Turks in the island whom they considered as the only obstacle in the path of Enosis (union with Greece).

The 27-28 January was the day when the policy of the colony administration failed, Ersan stressed.

Ersan added that they will never forget those days.

The British Colony Administration had attacked on the Turkish Cypriots who held a protest meeting against the administration, the Greek Cypriots and the Greeks who wanted to annex the island to Greece, on January 27 and 28, 1958.

The administration used machine guns, tanks, truncheons, tear gas, and weapons against the Turkish Cypriots.

A total of seven Turkish Cypriots, five in Lefkosa and two in Gazimagusa, died while many Turks were injured in the attacks.

[06] ''700TH ANNIVERSARY OF ESTABLISHMENT OF OTTOMAN EMPIRE'' CONFERENCE HELD IN KAZAKHSTAN

ALMATY, Jan 27 (A.A) - A conference titled, ''700th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Ottoman Empire'' was held in Kazakhstan on Thursday.

Scientists from Turkey and Kazakhstan participated in the meeting.

Addressing the opening speech, M. Cinar Aldemir, Turkey's Ambassador to Kazakhstan, said that the 700th anniversary of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire is being celebrated by various activities in many countries within the framework of the decision taken by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The scientists talked about the place and role of the Ottoman Empire in the history of the Eastern and East European nations; the tradition of Turkish state and the problems faced in the administration system of the Ottoman Empire; the issues regarding the Turks which the Kazakh intellectuals mention in their works in the beginning of 20th century.

The scientists also talked about the perception of the ''nation'' concept in the Ottoman Empire, some social issues, the army of the Ottomans, the enlargement of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish-Russian relations in the first half of the 19th century, the Turkish literature in the Ottoman period, and the political movements in the Ottoman Empire.

[07] TURKEY-EU RELATIONS

ANKARA, Jan 27 (A.A) - A ''European Union (EU) Domestic Economic and Technical Coordination Committee'', a ''Domestic Coordination and Harmonization Committee and Executive Secretariat'' and a ''EU Advisory Committee'' were established in accordance with a Prime Ministry circular as the relations with the EU gained new status and content with the declaration of Turkey's candidacy.

Besides, an Advisers' Group which will be directly connected to the Prime Ministry will be established.

The Prime Ministry circular stressed that the relations with the EU would take shape with the works to be carried out on the basis of preparations for full-membership in coming period.

The circular emphasized that the EU regulations foresee a work which concerns 31 fields and thus necessitates contributions of several ministries and organizations.

Noting that the foreign politics dimension of relations with the EU would be carried out by the Foreign Ministry, the circular said the Foreign Ministry would continue to coordinate foreign affairs.

In accordance with the circular, the Foreign Ministry will carry out all negotiations including membership negotiations.

The Turkish delegation will be represented in the negotiations by the Foreign Minister or Foreign Ministry Undersecretary.

Representatives of the concerning ministries or organizations can attend the negotiations.

The circular said the technical and economic dimensions of the relations with the EU would be carried out by the concerned ministries and organizations in coordination.

With this objective, a ''European Union (EU) Domestic Economic and Technical Coordination Committee'', a ''Domestic Coordination and Harmonization Committee and Executive Secretariat'' and a ''EU Advisory Committee'' were established.

[08] TUBITAK AND GENERAL ELECTRIC SIGN COOPERATION AGREEMENT

ANKARA, Jan 27 (A.A) - The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey's (TUBITAK) Marmara Research Center and General Electric Company's Plane Engines Group signed on Thursday a technical cooperation agreement.

Addressing the ceremony at the TUBITAK's Feza Gursey Hall in Ankara, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli said they were determined to bring science and technology to the top of the agenda as development of scientific and technological researches are very important for the development of Turkey.

Bahceli said the governments had to attribute importance to science and and technology, and provide sufficient assistance to scientists, scientific and technological organizations and institutions.

TUBITAK's Marmara Research Center Chairman Omer Kaymakcalan said they signed three agreements with the General Electric.

He said the first agreement foresaw the allocation of land in technology free area.

In accordance with the technology transfer agreement, the advanced technological information like laser devices, control technologies of the General Electric will be transferred to the Center. With this objective, the Central's researchers will be trained in the General Electric's research centers in the U.S.

The third agreement foresees cooperation in engineering. In accordance with this agreement, the General Electric will order projects from the Center at the beginning of every year in the fields of advanced technology it feels the need for.

[09] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES OF CENTRAL BANK DECREASE TO 23.9 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS

ANKARA, Jan 27 (A.A) - The foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank decreased to 23 billion 899 million U.S. dollars.

The Central Bank data shows that the foreign exchange reserves, which dropped by 54 million U.S. dollars between January 14 and 21, reduced to 23 billion 899 million U.S. dollars as of January 21.

The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves were 23 billion 953 million U.S. dollars on January 14.

Meanwhile, Turkey's total international gross reserves increased 1 billion 36 million U.S. dollars to 39 billion 533 million U.S. dollars between December 30, 1999 and January 7, 2000.

The international gross reserves of Turkey were 38 billion 497 million U.S. dollars on December 30.

As of January 7, Turkey's international reserves were composed of 1 billion 11 million U.S. dollars in gold reserves; 23 billion 995 million U.S. dollars in the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves; and 14 billion 527 million U.S. dollars in the commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves.

[10] 20 PERCENT SHARE OF TURKISH TELEKOM TO BE SOLD IN Q4

ANKARA, Jan 27 (A.A) - Turkish Telekom General Director Fatih Mehmet Yurdal said on Thursday that 20 percent share of the Turkish Telekom was foreseen to be sold in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Staging a press conference, Yurdal said they recorded important progress in infrastructure in last six months, and they finalized the necessary infrastructure for telephone services.

''Numerical telephone exchange tender worth 450 million U.S. dollars was realized. 80 million U.S. dollars part of this investment was transferred to service. We will gradually cut off the analogous systems. Two million lines of new telephone exchange will be assembled in 14 months. As of the end of 2000, the telephone exchange capacity will rise over to 20 million. The 65 million U.S. dollar-tender for 12 thousand square kilometers of fibreoptic line was concluded. The contract for 20 thousand public telephones will be signed next week,'' he explained.

Concerning the privatization of the Turkish Telekom, Yurdal said, ''there is five-member commission led by the Privatization Administration Board. The 49 percent of it will be transferred. The state will have a 51 percent stake. In accordance with the schedule fixed by the Treasury and the International Monetary Fund, the sale of 20 percent share will be realized in the fourth quarter of this year.''

[11] TURKEY-IRAN JEC MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED

ANKARA, Jan 27 (A.A) - The Memorandum of Understanding about the meetings of Turkey-Iran Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was signed in Ankara on Thursday.

State Minister Recep Onal signed the memorandum on behalf of Turkey and Iranian Transportation Minister Mahmud Hucceti signed it on behalf of Iran.

Responding to a question, Onal said that ''we'll buy Iranian natural gas and sell products in return.''

Iranian Minister Hucceti said that ''natural gas would start to be given to Turkey in the beginning of 2000s due to the agreement and Iran brought the natural gas pipelines till Gurbulak border gate.'' He reminded that a delegation from the Turkish Pipeline Oil Transportation Inc (BOTAS) came to Tehran recently about the delay in construction of the Turiksh part of the pipeline.

Hucceti said that the disagreement was solved when Turkey said that the pipeline would be constructed in the Turkish side.

Responding to a question, Hucceti said that negotiations are underway about the compensation Turkey can give to Iran due to the delay in the construction of the pipeline.

[12] TURKEY-IRAN JEC MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED

ANKARA, Jan 27 (A.A) - State Minister Recep Onal said on Thursday that the relations between Turkey and Iran will further be improved by the Memorandum of Understanding signed after the 15th Term Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meetings the same day.

Many issues from energy to transportation were taken up at the meetings, said Onal and added that important work will be undertaken in issues such as machine equipment and telecommunication.

The trade volume between the two countries has shrunk due to insufficient information, but the two countries will overcome this problem, said Onal and added that the trade volume will increase after purchasing natural gas from Iran.

Responding to a question asking whether a second border gate will be opened between the two countries, Onal said that the traffic is busy at Gurbulak border gate and efforts are underway to solve this problem.

Upon another question about diesel oil and border trade, Onal said Iran claims that ''lorries carrying diesel oil buy it from other countries and pass via Iran,' adding negotiations about the price difference in diesel oil which is bought from Iran will continue.

Iranian Minister Hucceti said that ''certain misunderstandings caused problems in the past. There are security commissions between Turkey and Iran and when these commissions are activated, these problems will be solved.''

Hucceti stressed that the officials of the two countries have the capacity to overpower the bilateral problems, adding President Suleyman Demirel suggested them to be constructive in bilateral relations.

''We propose as the Iranian side to set up committees within the framework of JEC. The committees should come together every six months and control the implementation of the issues accepted by the memorandum of understanding,'' he said.

Hucceti pointed out that they also decided to form an information bank to increase the trade volume, adding the the railway between Turkey and Iran will extend till Indian peninsula and link Europe to Asia.

[13] BAYAR SPEAKS TO WALL STREET JOURNAL: ''FOREIGN COMPANIES' INTEREST IN PRIVATIZATION PROGRAMME OF TURKEY INCREASED FOURFOLDS''

NEW YORK, Jan 27 (A.A) - Ugur Bayar, the Chairman of the Privatization Administration said on Thursday that the interest of foreign investors in Turkey's privatization programme increased fourfolds.

Speaking to Wall Street Journal before leaving for Davos meetings together with Premier Bulent Ecevit, Bayar said that ''the calls of foreign investors to me increased four times. We prepared everything well and we will start to get its results.''

Shares belonging to 28 firms will be put up for sale in 2000, said Bayar and noted that Turkey will introduce its privatization program to foreign investors during Davos meetings.

An income of 5.2 billion dollars is expected from this sale and 3.1 billion dollars of it will be transferred to the treasury. Turkey gained an income of 4.1 billion dollars so far from privatization which started in 1984.

Meanwhile the journal added that Istanbul Stock Exchange Market (IMKB) grew by 3.5 times in the last period and noted that IMKB was number one in the world in 1999.

Ajay Chhibber, the World Bank's Representative to Turkey told the same journal that he had never seen such a wonderful start of an economic programme like the one in Turkey.

A.A


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