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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-30

Anadolu Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

[01] AA News

30 January 2000 Sunday


These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 30, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.


Leader of the Virtue Party (FP) Recai Kutan described the Hezbollah,

Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, Adnan Oktar and the IBDA-C as fake agenda. ''These are fake agendas created by some circles to make people forget the real problems of the country,'' Kutan said. About the operations carried out against the terrorist Hezbollah organization, Kutan said Hezbollah represented ''goodness'' in the Koran. ''We shouldn't call these people Hezbollah. Let's first decide about that,'' Kutan said. He also criticized those who used expressions such as 'Islamist terrorist' or 'Islamist violence'. ''If Hezbollah were an Islamist organization, they would have killed only those who opposed Islam, but you see they kill religious people,'' Kutan noted.

''We will fight. Time for jihad is coming,'' wrote Hezbollah leader Velioglu in the documents found in a house in Istanbul's Kartal district on Thursday. The house was purchased by Hezbollah terrorists in 1997. Hezbollah has been active in Istanbul since 1994. The house was used by Hezbollah as headquarters for a long time. In the meantime, two more bodies were recovered on Saturday buried in the yard of the same house. The bodies were rotten to the degree that they were not recognized. This raised the total number of bodies found in Istanbul to 19.


In the report that was submitted to the state, it was said, ''Hezbollah is much more dangerous than PKK''. According to the report, the illegal organization divided Istanbul to four regions. The whole area covering Istanbul's Beykoz, Uskudar and Kartal districts where 17 bodies were recovered, are in ''D area''. Every region is divided into 5 parts within itself. There is one person who is in charge of every region and four others helping him.

About 500 women wearing black chadors chanted Islamist slogans at the graveyard in Batman where Huseyin Velioglu, the head of illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization, was buried on Saturday. There were a total of 1500 demonstrators. Saturday's demonstration was the first massive demonstration of Hezbollah. The demonstrators threw stones at the reporters and police. Police refrained from active interference during the incidents.


Following the Citibank, giant groups like the Midland, the Chase and the HSBC are interested in buying the two banks that were transferred to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund. Giant airlines such as the British Airways, the Lufthansa and the Swissair are interested in the Turkish Airlines (THY). IMF Deputy Chairman Stanley Fischer foresees stability in Turkey's future. ''You are showing an unexpected performance. Your government has taken important steps. You look determined to maintain stability,'' Fischer told Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp.

Terrorist organization PKK continues to call for armed struggle on the internet althought it claims that they put down arms. While Ocalan, head of the terrorist organization, is giving messages of ''peace, disarmement and democratic republic'', PKK is ceaselessly continuing its armement and training activities in overseas countries. The PKK's internet site shows clearly that PKK did not give up its targets. Eastern and southeastern Anatolia is called ''North Kurdistan'' on PKK's webpage.


Leaders of three political parties forming the coalition government will convene today. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP); Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State and the leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP); and Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) will attend the meeting which is expected to start at 11:00 local time. Husamettin Ozkan, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State, and Cumhur Ersumer, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, will also be in attendance at the meeting. Prime Minister Ecevit will brief coalition partners on his impressions about the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos. Operations against the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization, the presidential elections and the other political and economic developments are expected to be taken up at the meeting.

Turkish citizen Fugen Gulertekin who was sentenced to 8 years in prison for allegedly shaking and hurting a baby although she saved the baby from drawning at a nursery in Columbos, has been sentenced to cell imprisonment on claims of ''showing disrespect to officers.'' Her husband Erdal Gulertekin said the abuse of Columbus police continued in the prison, and the police used every kind of method to intimidate her.


Hundreds of people were tortured to death. World is watching gruesome pictures of bodies buried under basements or backyards of houses belonged to illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization. Nearly one thousand brazens held a demonstration for Huseyin Velioglu, the head of terrorist Hezbollah organization. Body of 'Murderer of Hundreds of Muslims' was buried in Batman. His shameless supporters chanted slogans during the funeral. They attacked on journalists by hurling stones.


The World Economic Forum meetings ended in Davos, Switzerland. At the end of the meetings, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit staged a press conference at the Congress Center in Davos, and responded to questions of journalists.

He invited foreign investors to Turkey, saying, ''I am calling on foreign investors to contribute not only to Turkey, but to the whole region.''

Romano Prodi, the Chairman of the European Union (EU) Commission, said that EU countries have constructive and optimistic views about Turkey. Prodi said that they supported Turkey's full membership to the EU.

Security forces exhumed two more bodies in backyard of the single-storey house belonged to the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization in Kartal district of Istanbul. Number of bodies found in the same house increased to 9 while the total number rose to 42. Meanwhile, security forces found a shelter used by members of the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization as an arsenal in Kiziltepe township of southeastern Mardin province. Security forces seized 60-mm mortar, 33 hand grenades, 12 tear-bombs, 3 flame throwers, 9 Kalashnikow rifles, 51 cartridges, 15 pistols, 3 resonant bombs, 1,310 bullets and a great deal of illegal documents in the shelter.


A total of 419 people were taken into custody during the operations against illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization within the last ten days in Emergency Rule Region. Meanwhile, security forces found a shelter used by members of the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization as an arsenal in Kiziltepe township of southeastern Batman province.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received foreign investors who plan to make investments in Turkey, during his visit to Davos, Switzerland. Rahsan Ecevit, the wife of Prime Minister Ecevit; Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of Treasury; Gazi Ercel, the Governor of the Central Bank;

Ugur Bayar, the Chairman of the Privatization Authority; and Sarik Tara, a leading businessman, were also in attendance at the meeting.


LEFKOSA - President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and accompanying delegation departed the TRNC on Saturday to attend the second round proximity talks in Geneva, Switzerland.

Denktas spent the night in Istanbul. He is expected to leave for Geneva later on Sunday. Addressing journalists at the Ercan Airport prior to his departure, Denktas said, ''as the Greek Cypriot side and the United Nations Secretariat said before, a concrete result should not be expected in the second round proximity talks. These talks aimed at preparing favourable grounds for future face-to-face negotiations. The preparations started in New York, the U.S. Now, they will continue in Geneva. Our expectation and hope are the inception of comprehensive and face-to-face negotiations during the third round proximity talks in May, June or July. We are ready to expend any kind of efforts to reach a reconciliation with the Greek Cypriots by protecting existence of the state, its sovereignty and equality.''

Denktas is scheduled to hold a tete-a-tete meeting with Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations at 11:30 local time on Monday.

Annan will also meet with Glafcos Clerides, the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration, the same day.

Mustafa Akinci, the TRNC Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State;

Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the TRNC Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister; Ergun Olgun, the Undersecretary of TRNC Presidency; Mustafa Evran, the Director of Political Affairs Department of TRNC Presidency; Osman Ertug, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministry; Mumtaz Soysal and Taner Etkin will accompany President Denktas during his visit to Geneva.

President Denktas will proceed to Germany on February 11 following the second round proximity talks.

He is scheduled to pay a visit to Ankara on February 14 to address a conference at the Military Academy.

Denktas is expected to return to the TRNC on February 15 or 16.


DAVOS/ZURICH - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that the World Economic Forum was extremely important for Turkey.

Ecevit answered reporters' questions on the train going from Davos to Zurich.

Ecevit said he had the chance to speak to many leading statesmen, presidents, prime ministers, authors, artists, scientists, experts and businessmen. ''Now the world is aware of Turkey's jeopolitic importance. The whole world is seeing the productive activities of the 57th government and watching it with admiration. U.S. President Bill Clinton also expressed his admiration when he spoke to me at the meeting,'' Ecevit said.

Ecevit also noted that many businessmen and banks were very much interested in the investment opportunities in Turkey. At the meeting, foreign businessmen were given booklets which included detailed information about investment opportunities as well as 53 projects which are open to foreign capital. ''I was happy to see that there is a trust built for Turkey because of the government's recent activities,'' Ecevit said.

Ecevit said he had a long conversation with Clinton during which Clinton praised for the government's high performance.

Ecevit also had brief conversations with Palestinian President Yaser Arafat and Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev. Ecevit also shook hands with Armenian President Robert Kocaryan.

When asked which sectors in Turkey draw interest of foreign investors, Ecevit said ''they would be interested in any sector that they thought would be profitable''. Projects on energy, infrastructure and defense industry are among those Turkey proposed to foreign investors.

''We had a meeting with representatives of multi-national firms that invest in Turkey. They already know the recent situation in Turkey, the laws that were passed and opportunities that are offered to them. They are very interested in Turkey. They are saying that they want to make more investments in Turkey,'' Ecevit told reporters.

When asked if Swiss Air was interested in buying the Turkish Airlines, Ecevit verified it and said Swiss Air authorities discussed the matter with Chairman of Privatization Authority, Ugur Bayar.


ANKARA - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, will pay an official visit to Greece between February 4-6.

A Turkish Foreign Minister will visit Greece for the first time in 40 years. Selim Sarper was the last Turkish foreign minister visiting Greece in 1960.

Diplomatic sources told the A.A correspondent on Sunday that contacts of Cem in Athens were expected to focus on issues such as the European Union (EU) working group, joint military committee, and confidence-building measures in the Aegean.

The issue of nine-article package of confidence-building measures is expected to be discussed during Cem's contacts in Athens. The package includes proposals such as port visits, flight without arms, joint military maneouvres, and communication among Turkish and Greek war planes.

Rest of the agreements which were negotiated within framework of the Turkey- Greece dialogue process, are expected to be signed during Cem's visit to Athens. Four of these agreements were signed when George Papandreou, the Greek Foreign Minister, had paid an official visit to Ankara between January 20-21.

'Cultural Cooperation', 'Economical and Technical Cooperation', 'Scientific and Technological Cooperation', 'Marine Trade' and 'Cooperation between Turkish and Greek Customs Authorities' agreements will be signed by two foreign ministers in Athens.

Preparations are still continuing to finalize 'Prevention of Double Taxation' agreement. If works are finalized before Cem's visit to Athens, this agreement will also be signed.

During Papandreou's visit to Ankara, agreements on tourism, environment, mutual encouragement of investments and struggle against terrorism, organized crimes, illegal migration and drug smuggling were signed.

Cem will also attend openings of Turkish-Greek Journalists Forum and Sedat Simavi Caricature Exhibition.

Meanwhile, Cem will pay an official visit to Morocco after his contacts in Athens. This visit was arranged by Cem and his Moroccan counterpart during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul last year.


IZMIR - Turkish and Greek authorities will work together to protect the Butterfly Valleys that are found both in Fethiye and Rhodes which share very similar geographic characteristics and host similar kinds of animals and plants.

Bilge Contepe, the speaker of the study group for the Butterfly Valley in Fethiye, told A.A on Sunday that 90,000 square meter of the canyon has been owned by a cooperative since 1970.

''We visited the Butterfly Valley on Rhodes Island recently. Together with Michalis Kardinas, the Mayor of Petaloludes, we had examined the valley and agreed to work together,'' Contepe said.

Contepe also noted that the Butterfly Valley on Rhodes was preserved very well and was given a national park status. ''Petalaudes Mayor Candinas received loans from the European Union (EU) for the Butterfly Valley. The municipality obtaines all its income from the visitors who come to see the butterflies. We decided to present the files of the two valleys to the EU together. We will also have joint actions to take the valley from the cooperative. We will organize meetings in both valleys,'' Contepe explained.

A festival will be organized through the participation of Turkish and Greeek environmentalists in the Butterfly Valley in Fethiye on June 5, the World Environment Day.

Using highway is not advisable to go to the Butterfly Valley in Fethiye. The best way to get there is to take a boat through the Dead Sea (Oludeniz). Following a 45-minute sailing, the wild nature of the Butterfly Valley welcomes the nature lovers.

Butterflies get out of their cocoons in August and multiply very quickly. They form a heavenly picture of colours during their short life span of a few weeks.

Environmentalists stopped an initiative to build a tourism facility in the area in 1993.


DIYARBAKIR - Security forces recovered two more bodies in a house belonged to the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization in southeastern Diyarbakir province on Saturday.

The bodies were found in coop of the house. They were not buried.

Arms and legs of the victims were tied behind their backs.

Early today, security forces exhumed two bodies in basement of the same house.


ANKARA - Leaders of political parties agreed on the ''5 plus 5'' formula of the constitutional amendment regarding the president's term in office, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit told reporters following the leaders summit which lasted for about 4 hours on Sunday.

Ecevit also said Foreign Minister Ismail Cem briefed them on his visit to Brussels and Luxembourg which will start on Monday where Turkey's EU candidacy process will be discussed.

Another decision taken at the summit is that State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik will be in charge of Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) and Anadolu Agency.

At the meeting, Ersumer also gave information about the recent power outages.


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