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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-05-24

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.com.tr/>

ANADOLU AGENCY

NEWS

24 May 2000 Wednesday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] MIDDLE EAST INTER-CONNECT ENERGY NETWORK TO BE WIDENED
  • [03] TOURISM FIGURES SHOW GOOD INDICATIONS FOR 2000
  • [04] WORLD BANK GOVERNOR DUE IN TURKEY
  • [05] TURKEY-IRAN COMMERCIAL RELATIONS
  • [06] GRAVE DISASTERS IN EASTERN BLACK SEA REGION
  • [07] ENVIRONMENT MINISTER AYTEKIN SIGNS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTOCOL
  • [08] IRANIAN AMBASSADOR IN FOREIGN MINISTRY
  • [09] WORLD BANK'S TURKEY DIRECTOR: ''WOLFENSOHN WILL BE THE FIRST
  • [10] BUDGET PERFORMANCE IN FIRST FOUR MONTHS OF 2000
  • [11] "YILDIRIM 2000" MOBILISATION MANOEUVRES
  • [12] TAI TO PARTICIPATE IN AIREX'2000 FAIR
  • [13] HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: ''TURKISH GOVERNMENT
  • [14] SUIT OF NULLIFICATION FROM FP
  • [15] PARLIAMENT SPEAKER AKBULUT IN EGYPT
  • [16] MILITARY AIRPLANE CRASHES


  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on May 24, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    SEZER'S DIFFICULT DECISION
    Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, said that there is not definite evidence regarding Iran and told President Ahmet Necdet Sezer that it was his appreciation whether or not to visit Tehran. The Foreign Ministry's saying that the President can join the ECO summit which will be held in Tehran on June 5, created a dilemma for Sezer. If Sezer, who had earlier announced that he did not think of going to Iran, goes to Iran, his decision may not be welcomed by public opinion.

    CHHIBBER SAYS WORLD BANK AND GOVERNMENT AGREE UPON ENERGY
    Ajay Chhibber, the Turkey Director of the World Bank, said that agreement was reached after talks between Turkey and World Bank on energy sector. Chhibber also said they signed an agreement which took into consideration Turkey's requirements in energy sector. Chhibber noted that they expressed that they reached an agreement on energy by approving the economic reform loan but that implementation of this agreement is more important. Chibber added that in accordance with this agreement, Treasury will continue to extend guarantee to the energy projects it undertook to extend guarantee.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    IMF TO AUDIT BANKS
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which wants transparency in the financial system of the developing countries, is expected to audit Turkish banks. The IMF will start to audit Turkish banks following its executive board meeting held in September. The IMF will hold contacts with the Banking Supreme Board after it takes a decision regarding the audit of Turkish banks in the executive board meeting. In accordance with this decision, the IMF will send its experts to Turkey every three months. The IMF experts will examine the developments in the banking sector and investigate the reports of the banks.

    BLOCK SALE OF TURK TELEKOM
    Ugur Bayar, the Chairman of the Privatization Administration Board (OIB), said that the tender for the block sale of the Turk Telekom will be held in three months. Bayar also said that the specification on Turk Telekom has been completed and that it has been reviewed by a commission. Bayar noted that the specification will be announced until the end of this month.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    GAS AGREEMENT CONTINUES
    Turkmenian Ambassador Hanamov said there is no problem regarding the Turkmenian natural gas and added that they have natural gas enough for both Turkey and Russia. ''Turkey will get our gas in 2002,'' Hanamov added. He said there is no reason for Turkey to worry and also noted that they did not have any negative feelings against Turkey for supporting the Blue Current project.

    KOBI'S WITHOUT COMPUTERS HAVE NO CHANCE IN EU
    Solutions are sought for the computerization of small and medium scale enterprises (KOBI's) in Turkey which are defined as the country's most dynamic companies. Recently, Arena Computer, Compaq, Microsoft, NetOne, Pamukbank and Finans Leasing agreed to cooperate to provide KOBI's internet access to the world. Arena PC Product Manager Orkun Dizdar said they are working on these projects to make KOBI's have a place in the e-trade, facilitate information share within the company and increase efficiency.

    There are currently 3,5 million enterprises in Turkey and only about 200,000 of them use PC's.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    AKUT'S VISIT
    The administrators of voluntary search and rescue team AKUT visited Premier Bulent Ecevit and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli. The AKUT team thanked for Ecevit's and Bahceli's support. The AKUT team submitted the Plate of the AKUT Executive Board to Ecevit.

    THREE OF TAKSIM INCIDENT SUSPECTS RELEASED
    Three out of seven suspects of Taksim incidents in which two fans of the British Leeds United team were killed, were released. The lawsuit which was filed for 20 suspects on charges of killing two Leeds United fans prior to the Galatasaray-Leeds United match, started yesterday. The Court ruled Suleyman Aydin, Kazim Dalga and Zafer Yildirim, three suspects, to be released and adjourned the court session to a later date.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    HUNT FOR IRANIANS
    Security forces increased operations against Iranians throughout Turkey after it was revealed that Iranian people were involved in assasinations of Ugur Mumcu, Muammer Aksoy, and Ahmet Taner Kislali. Foreign Ministry stated that 259 Iranian people were taken into custody during the operations. 22 of them will be deported in coming days. According to the Iranian state-run IRNA News Agency, number of Iranian detainees in Turkey was 500. Fates of 150 of them are not known, IRNA claimed.

    GENC: ''THERE ARE MANY SURPRISES THAT WE KNOW''
    Turan Genc, the General Director of Security, said, ''there are many surprises that we know. And there are surprises that Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan thinks to reveal. You may discover a different bomb when you begin to investigate another one.''

    ANKARA WELCOMES UEFA CUP
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received Galatasaray Soccer Club, the winner of 42nd UEFA Cup. Prime Minister Ecevit congratulated Galatasaray President Faruk Suren, Coach Fatih Terim, and soccer players. Later, the soccer players visited the political parties at the parliament.

    YENI BINYIL (LIBERAL)

    ''GIVE IT FROM YOUR POCKET''
    The state mobilized all its forces to provide financial help for Galatasaray. The Motherland Party (ANAP) has prepared a draft law which in an attempt to give 10,000 million U.S. dollars to the team. They are also seeking for other formulas to increase this amount to 25, or even to 50 million U.S. dollars. However, millions of dollars given to a sports club by the state as a ''prize'' is not legal. There is no such application in any other country in the world. Dortmund in Germany and Nothingham Forest in Britain collapsed due to financial troubles although they won several cups in Europe. If deputies, especially ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz, want to help Galatasaray, they can donate their three month salaries and therefore not spend the government's money.

    PEOPLE ARE BEING POISONED BY GOVERNMENT DECISION
    Yatagan Thermic Power Station is being run by the Ministers Council desion by disregarding the court decision. Discussions about the power station started again after a cloud of smoke settled on the city for about five hours on Monday. People in the area are still suffering from nausea, coughing and respiratory problems. Environmental organizations and people of Yatagan are asking authorities to take urgent measures to close down the power station which is kept open by a Ministers Council decision. This decision disregarded a court decision which was earlier issued to close down the station.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    BAHCELI WARNS PUTIN
    Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party accused Russia of destabilizing Central Asian and Caucasian countries by seeking to restore control over them. Addressing the MHP Parliamentary Group meeting, Bahceli said, ''Turkey has no thought or aim of meaningless rivalry with any country, but it cannot approve of efforts to destabilize the Caucasus and Central Asia.''

    ''WE DEFENDED OURSELVES''
    A total of 20 suspects who were involved in incidents in Taksim Square in Istanbul on the eve of UEFA Cup semi-final match between Galatasaray and Leeds United of Britain in which two British soccer fans were stabbed to death, stood trial. Three out of seven arrested suspects were released from the prison by Criminal Court No: 1 in Beyoglu district of Istanbul. The defendants claimed, ''we were involved in the incidents in order to defend ourselves against attacks of British hooligans. We did not kill anyone.''

    AKBULUT REACTS GREEK AND GREEK CYPRIOT REPRESENTATIVES
    The 2nd Europe-Mediterranean Parliament Speakers Conference in Alexandria, Egypt, became scene of arguments on the issue of Cyprus question. Apostolos Kaklamanis, the Speaker of Greek Parliament, and Nicos Anastasiades, the Representative of the Greek Cypriot side, claimed that Cyprus was occupied and became a scene of human rights violations. Responding to the claims, Akbulut, the Speaker of Parliament, said, ''recognition of two separate states on the island is necessary to reach a lasting and fair solution. We can reach a lasting solution only by accepting that there are two separate and equal nations on the island having different languages, religious beliefs, and cultures. Cyprus is not under occupation. Turkey launched a Peace Operation by using its guarantorship right in order to prevent a massacre on the island. Turkey brought forth peace to the island. Everyone lives in peace on the island now.''

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    GENERAL STAFF: ''DISBANDMENT OF AEGEAN ARMY IS NOT ON OUR AGENDA''
    The General Staff said, ''Ay issue regarging disbandment of Aegean Army does not take place on the General Staff's agenda. General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff, has not exchanged opinion with anybody on the issue of abolition of the Aegean Army. He has not made any statement or implication supporting such comments.''

    EXCAVATIONS RESUMED IN HEZBOLLAH'S HIDE-OUT
    Excavations were resumed in a hide-out in Kartal district of Istanbul under which nine bodies were exhumed during an operation against the terrorist Hezbollah organization on January 28, 2000. Security forces searched for weapons and documents, but could not find anything. Meanwhile, excavation works were underway on in another hide-out in Kiremithane district of southern Adana province which was used by members of the terrorist Hezbollah organization. The work lasted nearly three hours, but no bodies or weapons were found.

    [02] MIDDLE EAST INTER-CONNECT ENERGY NETWORK TO BE WIDENED

    ANKARA - The Middle East inter-connect energy network which is planned to be established among Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria, will be widened.

    Lebanon will also be included in the inter-connect energy network. The participation of Lebanon in the inter-connect energy network was discussed in the meeting held in Jordan and the participant countries accepted Lebanon's participation in principle.

    The final decision regarding Lebanon's participation in the network will be given in the meetings which will be held in the following days.

    The energy transmission lines which were constructed in all the countries except Syria, are planned to start operation in 2002.

    The Middle East inter-connect energy system which will be constructed in the intersection point of Asia, Europe and Middle East and which carries importance for Turkey, will be connected to the Balkan countries energy system that is planned to be established among Turkey and the Balkan countries in the future.

    Thus, the countries will meet their energy demands from this joint system.

    Officials said that Turkey completed the construction of the energy transmission lines in its territory a short time ago.

    The officials also said that the 123-kilometre energy line starts from Ataturk Dam and goes to Birecik, adding that then the line heads for Syria.

    The 43-kilometre energy transmission lines between Egypt and Jordan were constructed in recent years and two countries started to buy and sell energy, the officials noted.

    The officials stated that the construction of the energy transmission lines in Syrian territory, are planned to be concluded this year.

    The contacts between Syria and Jordan continue, the officials said.

    The officials added that Syria and Jordan can probably start to exchange energy in 2002.

    [03] TOURISM FIGURES SHOW GOOD INDICATIONS FOR 2000

    -TURSAB CHAIRMAN ULUSOY SAYS THEY ARE TARGETING TO HOST
    10 MILLION TOURISTS THIS YEAR
    ISTANBUL - Turkey Travel Agencies Union (TURSAB) Chairman Basaran Ulusoy said on Wednesday that the current data indicated ''excellent'' progress in Turkish tourism.

    ''We will reach our estimated tourism income, and if everything goes well we might even exceed it,'' Ulusoy said.

    Noting that last year was a ''dead year'' in Turkish tourism, Ulusoy said they are aiming to reach 1998's figures this year.

    ''Promotion campaigns, demands and reservations are excellent,'' he went on to say. Ulusoy said they were targeting to host 10 million tourists in Turkey and obtain an income of 7.5 billion U.S. dollars which 40-45 percent over last year's figures.

    Ulusoy also noted that there is no price increase in the Turkish tourism sector this year compared to last year on the basis of U.S. dollars or German Marks.

    ''We are working to raise tourism quality and avoiding very low or very high prices,'' he explained.

    Ulusoy also noted that there was a revitalization in also domestic tourism which is especially felt during holidays and in summer.

    Executives of some travel agencies or tourism facilities also told A.A that they were expecting a good tourism season this year.

    Below are the number of tourists who visited Turkey in the last six years and the income obtained according to TURSAB:

    YEAR TOURISTS INCOME OBTAINED (MILLION PEOPLE) (BILLION U.S.
    DOLLARS)
    .1994 6.7 4.3
    .1995 7.7 4.9
    .1996 8.6 5.9
    .1997 9.6 7.0
    .1998 9.7 7.1
    .1999 7.5 5.0

    [04] WORLD BANK GOVERNOR DUE IN TURKEY

    ANKARA- James D. Wolfensohn, the Governor of the World Bank, will arrive in Istanbul on Wednesday afternoon.

    Wolfensohn will hold contacts in Turkey between May 25 and 28.

    James Wolfensohn will firstly meet with the representatives of the private sector in Istanbul on May 25 and exchange ideas about the recent economic developments in Turkey.

    Wolfensohn will also meet with the representatives of the non-governmental organizations and make a speech on the global financial reforms in the Banks Union in Istanbul.

    The priorities of the Turkish financial sector will be discussed following Wolfensohn's speech.

    Wolfensohn will proceed to the quake zone on May 26 and visit the tent-sites in quake-hit Golcuk township.

    Later, Wolfensohn will proceed to Ankara and meet with Premier Bulent Ecevit and other governmental officials. Wolfensohn will exchange ideas about the economic reform practices.

    Other dimensions of the support that the World Bank extends to Turkey will be taken up in these meetings.

    Wolfensohn will also visit the parliament within the framework of his program in Ankara.

    The World Bank Governor will fly to eastern Malatya province on May 27 to see the Eastern Anatolia Basin Project supported by the World Bank.

    Wolfensohn will return to Ankara the same day, stage a press conference, and meet with the representatives of the other foreign organization which support Turkey.

    Johannes Linn, the Deputy World Bank Governor in charge of Europe and Central Asia, will accompany Wolfensohn during his Turkey visit.

    Wolfensohn will depart from Turkey on May 28.

    [05] TURKEY-IRAN COMMERCIAL RELATIONS

    -FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS VISIT OF TURKISH TRADE DELEGATION
    TO IRAN IS APPROPRIATE
    ANKARA, May 24 (A.A) - Despite the tension in political relations with Iran, Turkish Foreign Ministry said the visit of a Turkish trade delegation to Iran on May 27 would be appropriate.

    Due to the allegations about Iranian involvement in killings of Turkish journalists and intellectuals, the Foreign Ministry had earlier asked the Trade Undersecretariat to review its decision to visit Iran. The Trade Undersecretariat asked the Foreign Ministry to assess political and commercial relations separately. Later, the Foreign Ministry announced that they found the visit of the trade delegation appropriate.

    A delegation of 100 businessmen headed by Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursad Tuzmen will go to Iran on May 27, Saturday. Besides bilateral contacts of Turkish and Iranian businessmen, the Border Trade Joint Committee will also convene. The committee had a meeting in Turkey last year in May.

    Tuzmen, during his visit which will last until May 31, will also be received by some Iranian ministers.

    Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry announced that ''Turkey should develop commercial relations with its neighbours independent from its political relations.''

    [06] GRAVE DISASTERS IN EASTERN BLACK SEA REGION

    TRABZON - A total of 38 people, most of them women and children, drowned when two rowboats which put to sea to mark a locally celebrated sea festivity, capsized in rough waters last week in coastal town of Besikduzu of Trabzon province in Eastern Black Sea Region.

    The region experienced many disasters including land slides, floods, avalanches and sea accidents in its history.

    Grave disasters which caused casualties in Eastern Black Sea Region are as follows:

    ---- Date Place ** Disaster Death Toll

    1929 Bolumlu-Trabzon Land slide 146 1974 Aksu-Giresun Sea accident 30 1981 Pazar-Rize Flood 27 1982 Ikizdere-Rize Land slide 8 1988 Catak-Trabzon Land slide 64 1990 Vakfikebir-Trabzon Flood 47 1993 Uzengili-Bayburt Avalanche 57 1998 Beskoy-Trabzon Flood-land slide 47 2000 Besikduzu-Trabzon Sea accident 38 ----

    [07] ENVIRONMENT MINISTER AYTEKIN SIGNS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTOCOL

    ANKARA - Environment Minister Fevzi Aytekin signed on Wednesday ''Cartagena Bio-Security Protocol.''

    The protocol was opened to signatured in the ''United Nations (U.N.) Convention of Biological Diversity Meeting'' held in Kenya.

    The Cartagena Bio-Security Protocol aims at preventing the negative effects of the living things, the genetic structure of which are changed, on biological diversity and human health.

    Speaking in the U.N. Convention of Biological Diversity Meeting, Aytekin requested that the protocol should start to be implemented as soon as possible.

    Aytekin said that the bio-security protocol is an important indicator of the responsibility and respect that the humanity feels for the nature.

    ''The protocol will contribute to the usage of the modern bio-technologies in the benefit of humanity and to the prevention of the damages of the bio-technologies. To this end, the systems which are foreseen in the protocol, should be fixed and start functioning as soon as possible,'' Aytekin said.

    Aytekin added, ''we hope the international finance organizations will assist the developing countries in fixing and operating these systems.''

    Aytekin noted that there is no return after the organism, the genetic structure of which are changed, are released to nature.

    ''We should be careful not to illegally or accidentally release such organisms to the nature. The inter-governmental committee should priorly take up the formation of a fund which will take measures to prevent illegal or accidental practices and to overcome the damages faced due to these practices,'' Aytekin added.

    [08] IRANIAN AMBASSADOR IN FOREIGN MINISTRY

    ANKARA - Muhammed Huseyin Lavasani, the Iranian Ambassador to Turkey said on Wednesday that different information were conveyed to them about the Iranians who were taken into custody in Turkey.

    ''I hope we can get a definite information about the issue,'' said Lavasani, who came to the Foreign Ministry to meet with Mithat Balkan, the Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary who is responsible for economic affairs.

    Responding to questions of journalists after the meeting, Lavasani said that they exchanged views with Balkan about the Turkish-Iranian relations and he informed Balkan about the contacts of the Iranian delegation which is currently in Turkey.

    Lavasani pointed out that the Iranian delegation holds contacts about new demarcations on the Turkish-Iranian border.

    Upon a question about the Iranians who were taken into custody, Lavasani said that they took up the issue with Foreign Ministry officials, adding ''I conveyed the concerns of Iranian side about the issue. We've received different information on the issue till today, I hope we can get a definite information this time.''

    Lavasani added that they don't know anything about the reason of Iranians' taken into custody, noting Turkish officials told them that these persons were arrested due to illegal passage, not due to the reasons published in newspapers.

    ''Are you thinking of protesting Turkey?'' asked a journalist to Lavasani who said that ''Iran took many initiatives about the issue.''

    Lavasani said ''no'' when journalists asked him if there is a crisis between the two countries.

    When they asked the Iranian ambassador whether President Sezer should participate in the ECO meeting or not, the Iranian ambassador said ''Turkey is the founder member of this institution. I suppose the answer is very obvious.''

    [09] WORLD BANK'S TURKEY DIRECTOR: ''WOLFENSOHN WILL BE THE FIRST

    WORLD BANK CHIEF PAYING A VISIT TO TURKEY IN LAST DECADE''
    ANKARA - World Bank's Turkey Director Ajay Chhibber said on Wednesday that James D. Wolfensohn would be the first World Bank Chief paying a visit to Turkey in last decade, indicating the importance that the international community attributed to Turkey.

    Ajay Chhibber answered the A.A correspondent's questions about the visit of Wolfensohn who is expected to come to Turkey the same day and hold contacts between May 25-28.

    Chhibber recalled that Turkey had given the start for a great reform movement during Prime Ministry of Turgut Ozal, the 8th President of Turkey, and this movement had received support of international organizations.

    ''Turkey has once again taken a place in the World Bank's agenda. The World Bank has decided to extend the greatest amount of economic aid to Turkey since Turgut Ozal's Prime Ministry. Turkey is the country which is mostly talked about by international organizations like the World Bank and the IMF. Because, it is implementing a very important structural program aiming at reforms,'' he said.

    ''I attended the World Bank's Board meeting in which the Economic Reform Loan (ERL) to Turkey was approved. Turkey's economic program was praised. Besides, I was asked many questions about the Turkish economy,'' he stated.

    Noting that the World Bank's Board wanted the continuation of structural reforms without interruption, Chhibber said, ''they are asking why the financial sector reforms were postponed although there was a great progress in reforms about the ERL. The Board believes that a legal arrangement that allows privatization of public banks will be a signal which shows that Turkey is serious about this issue.''

    Stating that he hoped the legal arrangement in question would be made in June, Chhiber said that a full privatization of Emlak Bankasi, Vakifbank and Halkbank and operation of an autonomous Ziraat Bankasi in accordance with commercial rules would be sufficient.

    ''Privatization of 20 percent of Vakifbank will be insufficient. I think that a legal formula allowing privatization of more than 20 percent of Vakifbank will be found. Besides, there are legal advisors capable of realizing this in Turkey,'' he said.

    Stressing that the aim of Wolfensohn's visit composed of three main points, Chhibber said, ''with this visit, Wolfensohn is displaying the support given to Turkey by not only the World Bank but also the international community. After discussing public administration reform, transparency policy and judicial reform with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Wolfensohn will receive Turkey's demands and get information on new cooperation opportunities.'

    ''The World Bank targets at a more fair and balanced income distribution and development in Turkey. Because, Turkey should provide a sustainable and fair development,'' he said.

    Noting that Wolfensohn's visit was the most important signal that could be given to international markets, Chhibber said Turkey would attract foreign capital's interest more after Wolfensohn's visit.

    ''Wolfensohn would not visit Turkey if it is not a very important country,'' Chhibber stressed.

    Recalling that grain-cereals prices would be announced in a short period of time, Chhibber said, ''the minimum price for grain is a price pleasing both the government and producers. I don't think that this price will negatively affect the economic targets in Turkey.''

    Ajay Chhibber said that there was a need for almost six billion U.S. dollars for rehabilitation of banks possessed by the Savings Account Insurance Fund.

    Noting that sale of those banks would be beneficial, Chhibber said the cost increased as long as Turkey postponed the sale.

    Ajay Chhibber said an agreement was reached in the talks between Turkey and the World Bank on energy sector.

    Chhibber said they signed an agreement which took into consideration Turkey's requirements in energy sector.

    ''We expressed that we reached an agreement on energy issue by approving the economic reform loan. However, implementation of this agreement is more important. In accordance with this agreement, Treasury will continue to extend guarantee to the energy projects it undertook to extend guarantee. Besides, some other energy projects can be provided with Treasury guarantee. We did not want abolition of contracts that Treasury signed and accepted to give guarantee. Because, we don't want Turkey suffer from electricity shortage,'' he said.

    Chhibber said Turkey's energy demand could be reviewed in coming months according to developments.

    Noting that Turkey accepted to issue the Electricity Law in a short period of time, Chhibber said they would assist Turkey technically concerning this issue.

    [10] BUDGET PERFORMANCE IN FIRST FOUR MONTHS OF 2000

    ANKARA- Finan Minister Sumer Oral disclosed Wednesday the budget performance in first four months of 2000.

    Oral said the revenues had been 9 quadrillion 949 trillion Turkish Liras (TL), the tax revenues had been 7 quadrillion 928 trillion TL, expenditures excluding interests had been 6 quadrillion 854 trillion TL and non-interest budget surplus had been 3 quadrillion 95 trillion TL.

    In accordance with the 2000 year consolidated budget targets for January-April 2000 period, the revenues had been foreseen to be 8 quadrillion 474 trillion TL, tax collection had been foreseen to be 7 quadrillion 31 trillion TL, spendings excluding interests had been foreseen to be 6 quadrillion 714 trillion TL and the primary budget had been foreseen to be 1 quadrillion 760 trillion TL.

    When results of the first four-month budget performance are compared with the figures in same period in 1999, the revenues increased by 127.7 percent, taxes rose by 141.3 percent, and non-interest budget expenditures climbed 50.1 percent.

    Finance Minister Oral said the budget performance in first four months of the year had proven that public financing recorded progress in the way for a healthy structure.

    Oral said the inflation had entered a declining trend and reduced to the minimum rate in last decade as of end-April.

    Oral stated that borrowing interest rate decreased below 40 percent as of end-April while Treasury had borrowed money with 120 percent interest rate.

    Noting that the program covered a three-year period, Oral said, ''our determination in achieving the targets is continuing.''

    [11] "YILDIRIM 2000" MOBILISATION MANOEUVRES

    TO TAKE PLACE BETWEEN MAY 26-JUNE 13
    ANKARA - ''Yildirim 2000'' Mobilisation Manoeuvres, one of Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) planned exercises, will take place between May 26 and June 13, a General Staff Chief Secretariat statement said on Wednesday.

    According to the statement, the exercises will take place at the Ground Forces Command's Headquarters in Luleburgaz, Kirklareli, and the Naval Frces Command's Headquarters in Canakkale.

    The Yildirim 2000 Mobiliation Manouvres, aimed at practicing mobilisation measures and steps and procedures to be followed in times of mobilisation, will be held with the participation of 1970 reserve personnel, 184 vehicles, and various elements from public institutions and bodies.

    [12] TAI TO PARTICIPATE IN AIREX'2000 FAIR

    ANKARA- Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is going to participate in the AIREX'2000 Fair, which is to start on Thursday in Istanbul, a TAI statement said on Wednesday.

    According to the statement, TAI will exhibit the S-2E type Extinguisher Plane, the first and the only national extinguisher craft, in the open-air section of the fair, and other products in the hall section.

    Until May 28, the final day of the fair, the S-2E craft will make flight shows every day.

    TAI aims at gaining Turkey an extinguisher craft fleet by turning 15 S-2E Tracker type planes into extinguishers.

    Within this framework, TAI had modernised one S-2E type Tracker with the contributions of the TEMA Foundation. The craft had carried out a fire extinguishing mission for a first time in August 1999 in Antalya, and had participated in extinguishing and cooling operations carried out on the oil refinery in Marmara, which had blazed last August after the Marmara earthquake.

    Efforts to set up an extinguisher fleet is continuing under the leadership of the National Defense Ministry and with negotiations with officials at the Prime Minister's office.

    [00] CONSTITUTIONAL-JUSTICE JOINT COMMISSION DECIDED TO

    LIFT POLITICAL IMMUNITY OF THREE MPS
    ANKARA - The Parliamentary Constitutional-Justice Joint Commission decided on Wednesday to lift political immunity of Omer Vehbi Hatiboglu, a Virtue Party (FP) deputy; Aydin Ayaydin, a Motherland Party (ANAP) deputy, and Mustafa Bayram, an independent deputy.

    The joint commission took up 38 dossiers against 33 MPs against whom summary reports were prepared to lift their political immunities, in its meeting the same day.

    Sources said 15 of those MPS had made verbal defense while other had sent their written defences.

    Making a statement after the meeting, Constitutional Commission Chairman Ertugrul Yalcinbayir, a deputy from ANAP, said the commission had decided to lift political immunities of Aydin Ayaydin and Omer Vehbi Hatiboglu as they misused their authorities, and Mustafa Bayram as he violated Law on Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage.

    Yalcinbayir said the Commission had not discussed the dossier against Ibrahim Yasar Dedelek, a deputy from ANAP, and that the Commission had reversed the dossier against Cengiz Aydogan, a deputy from ANAP, as there was no need to hear him.

    Yalcinbayir added that the remaining 33 dossiers would be discussed at the end of parliamentary term.

    [13] HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: ''TURKISH GOVERNMENT

    MUST BE MORE TRANSPARENT ABOUT PRISONS''
    ANKARA - Human Rights Watch (HRW) defended on Wednesday that new ''F-Type'' prison implementation in Turkey was ''preventible disaster'', warning that the new prison regime in Turkey must meet international standards.

    Elizabeth Andersen, HRW's Advocacy Director for Europe and Central Asia, and Jonathan Sugden, HRW's researcher for Turkey, staged a press conference at the Erk Hotel in Ankara, giving information on their a week of meetings to discuss the government's plans for a new prison regime with Justice Ministry officials and representatives of foreign governments and civil society.

    Noting that the HWR welcomed its discussions with the government, HWR members said HWR pressed for greater transparency surrounding government plans to reshape prisons.

    Stating that Justice Ministry officials promised that the new eleven F-Type prisons would improve conditions in prisons and bring them up to international standards, members said, ''however, unless the new system includes plans for prisoners to spend time out of the cell units for recreational, social and vacational activities, it could violate human rights.''

    Sugden said, ''in principle, the move to cells could improve prison conditions. But without opportunities for prisoners to leave the cell unit, the new system could amount to an isolation regime that will cause prisoners mental and physical harm. We would oppose to any such move.''

    Noting that they considered special type prisons as ''preventible disaster'', Sugden said, ''if the Justice Ministry sets into action right now, we will be happy to close this file.''

    Stressing that they agreed that special measures must be taken in exceptional situations, Jonathan Sugden said, ''however, it is not a solution to keep them altogether in a cell.''

    Addressing the press conference, Hasan Sonkaya, an ex-prisoner of the Kartal Special Type Prison in Istanbul, claimed that he was exposed to bad treatment in prison while his trial was continuing.

    Sonkaya defended that the Kartal Prison personnel's attitude towards the inmates was ''humiliating and violent''.

    The government has set in motion plans to begin housing prisoners in cells for up to three prisoners, moving away from the use of the existing sixty-person wards. Eleven F-Type prisons consisting of small-group cells to house detainees convicted of organized crimes and crimes under the Anti-Terror law are currently under construction. They are expected to the completed in coming months.

    [14] SUIT OF NULLIFICATION FROM FP

    -FP APPLIES TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT FOR THE ABOLISHMENT OF
    CERTAIN ARTICLES OF THE MILITARY PENAL CODE
    ANKARA- The Virtue Party (FP), as the main opposition, applied on Wednesday, to the Constitutional Court for the abolishment of certain articles of the ''Law Pertaining to the Making of Amendments to Article no. 4551 of the Turkish Penal Code'', enforced as of March 26, 2000.

    Acting Chairman of the FP Bulent Arinc said in a written statement he made on Wednesday, that the said law foresaw the punishment of civilian officers serving for the Turkish Armed Forces in accordance with the Military Penal Code, and pointed out that this was a violation of the Article no. 2 of the Connstitution.

    He said that the punishment of civilian officers in accordance with the Military Penal Code, was against the definition of individual rights and freedoms as given in Article no. 2 of the Constitution, and against the statement ''No one shall be subjected to torture or ill-treatment; no one shall be subjected to penalties or treatment incompatible with human dignity'' as given in articles no. 10, 17, 128, and 129 of the Constitution. He said that the FP had applied to the Constitutional Court for the abolishment of certain articles of the military Penal Code, which he alleged, were against the principles of the judicial system.

    [15] PARLIAMENT SPEAKER AKBULUT IN EGYPT

    ALEXANDRIA - Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut, who is in Egypt attending the European-Mediterranean Parliament Speakers' Meeting, told his colleagues participating meeting on Wednesday, that support from the outside had to be stopped in order to prevent terrorist activities.

    Akbulut made an assessment of the meeting, which started on Tuesday in Alexandria, and which is to end in the evening hours of Wednesday.

    Akbulut said that the participants had so far taken up the means by which peace, stability, and security could be re-established and strengthened in the region, and added that they had reached accord over stopping support to terrorism from the outside.

    Noting that terrorism had such financial sources as arms and narcotics smugling and money laundering, Akbulut said, ''Turkey has long been suffering from terrorism. We very well know what it is, and what its cost is. We also know that terrorism survives with support from the outside. As the regional countries, we have to defeat this menace hand in hand, with our joined powers.''

    Parliament Speaker Akbulut made bilateral contacts with his Italian counterpart Luciana Violante, and his Israeli counterpart Avraham Burg on Wednesday.

    In Wednesday's afternoon session, Mustafa Demirezen, a high-level official from the State Planning Orgnisation (DPT) will make a presentation on ''Creating Employment Opportunities and Immigration Waves'', and with the issuing of a joint communique, the meeting will be concluded.

    [16] MILITARY AIRPLANE CRASHES

    -PILOT ALIVE
    ANTALYA - A military plane which took off from Bandirma Sixth Jet Base Commandership, crashed near Cobanpinari village in Bucak county of southern Burdur province on Wednesday.

    The gendarme teams found the pilot of the aircraft who was alive.

    Antalya governor told A.A correspondent that the military plane took off from Bandırma county of Balıkesir province and it was lost in radarscopes as it crashed before entering the Antalya Tower borders. Governor added that the pilot is alive.


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