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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-05-26

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

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

26 MAY 2000 Friday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] PARLIAMENT SPEAKER AKBULUT RETURNS HOME FROM EGYPT
  • [03] HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ORBAN GOES TO ISTANBUL
  • [04] THREE PEOPLE EXECUTION TEAM DID REENACTMENT
  • [05] TURKISH-GREEK FRIENDSHIP'S REFLECTION INTO SPORTS
  • [06] TOTAL DEPOSITS IN THE BANKS INCREASED
  • [07] PROJECT TO SHORTEN ANKARA-ISTANBUL RAILROAD TRACK
  • [08] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS CONVENES
  • [09] WOLFENSOHN, WORLD BANK CHIEF, IN QUAKE HIT REGION
  • [10] MINISTRY OF FINANCE REPORT ON THE AFTERMATH OF THE QUAKE
  • [11] BOATING DISASTER IN BESIKDUZU
  • [12] REPO TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN BANKS AND THEIR
  • [13] BANKS' CREDIT VOLUME INCREASES 208.6 TRILLION TL
  • [14] SECURITIES ACCOUNT AT BANKS INCREASES 265.6 TRILLION TL
  • [15] TURKISH TRADE DELEGATION TO GO TO IRAN ON SATURDAY
  • [16] SECURITY FORCES CONFISCATE 50 KG OF HEROIN
  • [17] MINIMUM WAGE TO INCREASE FROM 80 MILLION TO 86 MILLION AS OF JULY
  • [18] LINN, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF WORLD BANK:
  • [19] 12TH INTERNATIONAL ANKARA FILM FESTIVAL
  • [20] MALAZGIRT OPERATIONS AGAINST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION
  • [21] TURKISH-GREEK COOPERATION IN BANKING
  • [22] CUBAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER MORALES:
  • [23] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING ENDS (2)
  • [24] HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ORBAN PARTAKES IN LUNCHEON
  • [25] STATE MINISTER ONAL GIVES LUNCH TO HONOUR OF WORLD BANK
  • [26] MALAZGIRT OPERATION AGAINST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION
  • [27] TRIAL OF 50 SUSPECTS CONTINUES WHO WERE INVOLVED IN
  • [28] PREMIER ECEVIT RECEIVES WORLD BANK PRESIDENT WOLFENSOHN
  • [29] BAKU-TBILISI-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE PROJECT
  • [30] IMF TURKEY DESK CHIEF COTTARELLI MEETS WITH


  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

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

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    MY AUTHORITIES SHOULD BE LIMITED
    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer received on Thursday, the high level officials of the Ankara Chamber of Trade (ATO) at Cankaya Presidential Palace. Complaining about the extent of his authorities, President Sezer told Sinan Aygun, President of ATO, that the authorities of the president hd to be limited with an amendment to the Constitution. In his reception of ATO officials, Sezer was given a 100-article proposal package in the field of economy by Aygun, which also suggested that the government resigned if it were to fail to reach the economic targets it had set within the framework of the reform program.

    TOURISM BOOSTS IN APRIL
    The number of tourists visiting Turkey in April 2000 reached 721,128, with an increase by 69,1 percent as compared to the same period of the previous year. According to the data given by the State Statistics Authority, the April figure for 1999 had been 426,558.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    ECEVIT DUE TO NORWAY AFTER 22 YEARS
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who had visited Norway 22 years ago as the prime minister of the time, is paying another visit as the occupant of again this same post. The Norwegian administration will host Bulent Ecevit within an official framework, starting as of June 4. Prime Minister Ecevit will be received by the King of Norway, and will attend one of those rarely-held special luncheons to be given on his honor by the King. He will also deliver a speech on ''Turkey on the Eve of the 21st Century'' at the Nobel Institute, in yet another special occasion. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who is to accompany Ecevit during this visit, will get together with his Norwegian counterpart Thorbjorn Jagland.

    SOUTHEAST ANATOLIA 2000
    The General Staff Chief's office introduced journalists from various domestic media organs to the activities it had been carrying out over the past 1,5 years with the purpose of maintaining a stable socioeconomic and cultural development pace in South East Anatolia with a tour around the region. In this tour for journalists, the first since the capture of terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan, military officials told reporters that there had been a considerable decrease in the rate and intensity of terrorist activities, and that there were only about 500 PKK terrorists left within Turkey's borders. A total of 65 journalists from television channels and newspapers were invited to take part in the tour, but representatives from fundamentalist media were not welcomed.

    F-16 CRASHED AFTER HITTING CUMULONIMBUS
    Officials said that Wednesday's F-16 crash was caused by the aircraft's catching fire after hitting a giant 'cumulonimbus' cloud. The F-16, which had crashed into the mountainous region in the environs of Bucak townsihp of Burdur, was en route to Incirlik Base in Adana, when it hit the killer cloud 'cumulonimbus' known also as 'Charlie Brown', the most fearsome and dangerous type of cloud threatening pilots.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    WEIZMANN'S AUNT REVALED TO BE A SPY FOR TURKS
    Mina Weizmann, sister of Haim Weizmann, the first President of Israel, and aunt of current Israeli President Ezer Weizmann, revealed to be a Turkish spy. Mina, who was born in Russia in 1890, and who migrated to Palestine in 1914, made espionage for the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The aunt, who died at the age of 35, could not see independence of Israel.

    YOU HAVE REALLY CHANGED THIS TIME
    James Wolfensohn, Chief of World Bank, said he covered Turkey for 35 years, adding that there has been a change in Turkey which he had not seen before.

    Wolfensohn said Turkey has gone through an important change, adding that he hoped to see Turkey as the leader in the region due to its economic and geopolitical position. Wolfensohn said success of the economic program, which has been implemented, has a vital importance for the world's geopolitical balances, world peace, and for the contribution of world stability as well as Turkey. Stressing the importance of Turkey for the World bank, Wolfensohn said World Bank will support Turkey as long as it improves determinently.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    PUTIN IN PURSUIT OF TENDER
    Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov came to Turkey to deliver a letter from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The Russia Prime Minister touches on the tender for the attack helicopters, which is to be concluded in early June. Klebanov will get together with Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu and various other officials within the framework of his visit.

    COOPERATION IN EDUCATION
    National Education Minister Metin Bostancioglu put signature on a protocol with his Romanian counterpart Andrei Marga, foreseeing cooperation in the field of education. Later on, he got together with his Hungarian counterpart Zoltan Pokarni, and discussed with him, furthering cooperation in the field of education between Turkey and Hungary.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    OPERATIONS IN NORTHERN IRAQ
    Units attached to the Turkish Armed Forces killed 10 PKK terrorists in the latest spree of operations they launched on Northern Iraq. According to a statement by the General Staff officials, there are only about 500 PKK militants left in Turkey, and over 5 thousand of them have fled Turkey for safety in other countries. Military officials said that at least ten PKK terrorists had been killed in operations, where Turkish boldiers proceeded about 5 kilometres into Northern Iraq. There was no information on the number of casualties from the Turkish units, or if there were any.

    ECEVIT: WE ARE UNDER PRESSURE
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that Turkey is the pioneer of secularism and democracy among all the other Moslem countries, warning however, that ''We are under serious threats and intense pressure in our region.'' Ecevit, who welcomed his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban on Thursday with an official ceremony at the Prime Minister's Office Headquarters, told reporters in a joint press conference he held with Orban afterwards, that the shortcomings in Turkish democracy did not deserve to be blown out of proportions, underlining that Turkey was the sole pioneer of secularism and democracy among all the other Moslem countries of the world.

    BOAT CAPSIZED: ONE PERSON DIES
    A touring boat was capsized off the shores of Sarsala Bay of Dalaman with 23 people on board. All passengers but one were saved by the passer-by boats. 75-year-old Huseyin Sahin drowned to death in the accident. Of the 23 passangers, 15 were German tourists.

    YENI BINYIL (LIBERAL)

    TURK-IS TO ATTEND ILO MEETING WITH 45-PEOPLE DELEGATION
    The Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (TURK-IS) turned annual Labour Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) into a touristic visit. Turkis-Is delegation is composed of 45 unionists although 10 persons would be enough. Cost of the giant cadre will reach 250,000 U.S. dollars. Some high level Turk-Is administrators will also bring their wives and children. Meanwhile, the Confederation of Employers' Unions (TISK) will be in Geneva with an eight people delegation.

    FROM IRANIAN AMBASSADOR TO SEZER: YOU SHOULD ATTEND ISLAM SUMMIT
    Lavasani, Iran's Ambassador to Ankara, said Turkey was a founder member of Organization for Islamic Conference, and added that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer should attend the summit that will take place in Tehran. When asked why Iran remained silent against the allegations, Lavasani said they did their best not to destroy relations between the two countries.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    JUDGE AND PROSECUTOR, ACCUSED OF BRIBERY, ARRESTED
    Prosecutor Ismet Tuncer, and Judge Turhan Uysal were deprived of their profession by Judges and Prosecutors Supreme Committee on charges of making bribery. Tuncer and Uysal now account for what they have done. Develi High Criminal Court decided to arrest Ismet Tuncer, and gave arrest in absentia decision for the other defendant Uysal.

    MESUT YILMAZ TO JOIN IN THE GOVERNMENT
    Party officials confirmed that Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), will join in the government. Ahat Andican, former Minister of State, and an ANAP Parliamentarian, said Yilmaz will join in the government soon. Andican said Yilmaz will act as Deputy Prime Minister, and noted that they expect him to get State Ministry. It was also reported that Yilmaz will join in the cabinet instead of Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, who had resigned earlier.

    ECEVIT: WE ARE READY FOR THE EU
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who received Viktor Orban, Hungarian Prime Minister, said Turkish economy will be ready for European Union (EU) full membership within 3-4 years. Ecevit said political stability should continue in order to achieve this.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    ALTERNATIVE IN GAS
    BP-Amoco, which had seen that Trans-Caspian was not materialized, wants to market natural gas of Shah Sea to Turkey. Peter Henshaw, Foreign Relations Director of BP-Amoco, defended that they will sell the cheapest gas to Turkey. Henshaw said gas of Shah Sea will decrease the cost of Baku-Ceyhan 200 million U.S. dollars. He said Baku-Ceyhan will be completed in the year 2005, and Shah Sea pipeline will be completed in 2002 or 2003.

    NOBODY APPLIED TO GET THE FUNERAL OF ''VEYSI OZEN''
    Nobody has so far applied to get the funeral of a man, who was identified as ''Veysi Ozen''. The person had been killed in a cell house in Kartal district last week as a part of the operations launched against the brain team of the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization.

    It was reported that nobody applied to Forensic Medicine to get the dead body of the person who had been killed in the operation, staged on May 19, 2000.

    ERSUMER: PRICES ARE SECRET, I CAN'T DISCLOSE THEM
    Cumhur Ersumer, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, said on Thursday that, ''I can not disclose the prices of the gas we purchased from Turkmenistan as the natural gas agreement we signed with this country was a commercial and secret one.''

    Ersumer also said, ''the most expensive gas, which Turkey will get, will be the gas that will be purchased from Iran.

    [02] PARLIAMENT SPEAKER AKBULUT RETURNS HOME FROM EGYPT

    ISTANBUL - Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut, who was in Alexandria, Egypt, attending the 2nd European-Medditerranean Parliament Speakers Conference between May 23 and 24, returned home early Friday.

    Akbulut and the delegation accompanying him, arrived at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport in the early hours of Friday.

    Speaking to reporters at the airport, Akbulut said that the conference had staged discussions on means of establishing cooperation in various fields, and further developing and diversifying mutual relations.

    ''The participants discussed a number of issues, ranging from the establishment of peace and stability in the region, and fighting against terrorism and organised crimes, to the effects of globaisation on cultures, and creating new employment opportunities. I took the floor, too, and expressed Turkey's views regarding these isues. I also stressed on the necessity of reaching an accord over one common definition of terrorism,'' Akbulut said.

    He added that the conference had been very yielding from the standpoint of all countries represented at the meeting.

    Akbulut said he had given the necessary response to accusations directed against Turkey by Greek and Greek Cypriot representatives attending the conference, and added:

    ''The Greek Cypriot representative's request for the inclusion of certain articles pertaining to the intercommunal talks in Cyprus in the final communique, which the Turkish side believed would be unneccessary, was turned down.''

    Noting that he had had the opportunity to get together bilaterally with the parliament speakers of various countries, Akbulut said that his tete-a-tete talks had also been rather yielding and constructive.

    [03] HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ORBAN GOES TO ISTANBUL

    ANKARA - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is on an official visit to Turkey proceeded from Ankara to Istanbul on Friday.

    The visiting prime minister and the delegation accompanying him were seen off from Ankara's Esbenboga Airport by State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel, and Governor of Ankara Yahya Gur, as well as various other officials.

    While in Istanbul, the Hungarian premier will get together with officials from the Foreign Economic Affairs Council (DEIK), and will tour around the historic spots of the city.

    Orban and the delegation with him will proceed to Tekirdag on Saturday to visit the Rakoczi Museum and Hungarian houses, and will return home that same day in the evening hours.

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is accompanied by his spouse Aniko Levai, Education Minister Zoltan Pokorni, Gneral Staff Chief General Lajos Fodor, high level bureaucrats, businessmen, and Turkish and Hungarian scientists.

    [04] THREE PEOPLE EXECUTION TEAM DID REENACTMENT

    IN SOUTHERN MERSIN PROVINCE
    TARSUS - Three terrorists from the nine-people execution team, who were taken into custody during operations in Istanbul, were asked to do reenactment in Tarsus township in southern Mersin province.

    Sabahattin Alkan, Abdulsettar Yildizbakan, Mehmet Bayram, members of the terrorist Hezbollah organization, were brought to Mersin province early in the morning under tight security measures.

    Kasim Yagmur, State Security Court (DGM) Adana prosecutor asked Sabahattin Alkan and Abdulsettar Yildizbakan to do reenactment in Akyokus region in Baglarbasi village where six dead bodies were unearthed.

    When asked when he had come to the place, Yildizbakan said he did not remember the date, adding that, ''I have come here at night to take out the dead bodies.''

    Responding to the question where he put the dead bodies, Yildizbakan said, ''I can't remember exactly.''

    Sabahattin Alkan said they brought the dead bodies there, but could not definitely remember the place.

    The terrorists were later brought to Yesilyurt district, the place where Mustafa Ozkan, a teacher, was killed. Yildizbakan said he knew that the teacher would go from there, and that he waited at the street, adding that, ''I shot at him one time.''

    [05] TURKISH-GREEK FRIENDSHIP'S REFLECTION INTO SPORTS

    -FRIENDSHIP MATCH TO TAKE PLACE IN ISTANBUL BETWEEN
    SARIYER AND ATHENS MUNICIPALITIES' EMPLOYEES
    ISTANBUL - The employees of the municipalities of Athens and Sariyer, Istanbul, will hold a 'friendship match' in Istanbul on Saturday, a statement by the Sariyer Municipal Board said on Friday.

    According to the statement, the event was organised within the framework of efforts to strengthen feelings of friendship and solidarity between Turkey and Greece, which had come to the fore in the wake of the Marmara and Athens quakes last year. Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulous will also participate in the event.

    The encounter will start at 17.00 hours local time at Yusuf Ziya Onis Stadium. Following the match, a music feast will take place with concerts by such artists as Fedon, Metin Senturk, Bulent Serttas, Ayhan Asan, Ayhan Alptekin, and Hulya Polat.

    [06] TOTAL DEPOSITS IN THE BANKS INCREASED

    307.7 TRILLION LIRA, AND REACHED 49 QUADRILLION LIRA
    ANKARA - Total deposits in the banks increased 307.7 trillion lira and reached 49.5 quadrillion lira.

    The Central Bank data shows that total deposits, which was 49.2 quadrillion lira on May 5, increased to 49 quadrillion lira on May 12.

    When the inter-banks deposits are not considered, the total deposit, which was 44.5 quadrillion lira on May 5, increased 274.7 trillion lira, and reached 44.8 quadrillion lira on May 12.

    The total TL deposit decreased 7.8 trillion lira, and became 21.9 quadrillion lira.

    As of May 12, the total TL deposit was composed of 14.2 quadrillion lira in public banks, 7.4 quadrillion lira of deposits at private deposit banks, and 68.1 trillion lira of deposits at foreign banks.

    The foreign exchange accounts at banks increased 282.5 trillion lira.

    [07] PROJECT TO SHORTEN ANKARA-ISTANBUL RAILROAD TRACK

    -TCDD VICE DIRECTOR GENERAL SOYLER:
    ''SIX CONSORTIUMS ARE BIDDING FOR THE TENDER,
    WE ARE NOW ASSESSING THE OFFERS''
    ANTALYA - The rehabilitation project, aimed at shortening the railroad track between Ankara and Istanbul, will start sometime this year, officials said on Friday.

    Vice Director General of the State Railroads Co. (TCDD) Cahit soyler said on Friday, that the 57th government attached major importance and provided incentives for the railroad network of the country.

    Noting that the ''Rehabilitation Project'', aimed at reducing the travel time between Ankara and Istanbul down to four hours, was now at the stage of assessment, Soyler said:

    ''Six consortiums are bidding in the tender we opened for the Rehabilitation Project. We are now assessing the offers that these consortiums have made. We estimate that the project will have been completed at a cost of about 350-400 million U.S dollars, and in 34 months' time. And, the project will take start sometime this year.''

    Noting that the Ankara-Sivas track would also be undergoing a comprehensive revision, Soyler said that the TCDD would also consider the Kars-Tbilisi Railroad Track Project in the shortest time possible.

    ''The Kars-Tbilisi Railroad Track Project involves a 137- kilometre-long track, and is estimated to cost about 90-100 million U.S dollars. We want this project to be carried ut either in line with the 'build-operate-transfer' model, or with 100 percent financing guarantee from the Treasury. Many international companies are interested in this project, and Chinese and Japanese in particular. With the completion of this project, Turkey will turn into an 'iron bridge' between the East and the West, along the route of the historic Silk Road.

    Touching on the restructuring efforts of the TCDD, Soyler said that the establishment was aiming at catching up with European standards.

    ''The TCDD shall have a more autonomous structure from this point onwards. Turkey is a leading country in her region, and we, as the TCDD, want to be a part of it. For this purpose, we will extend our railroad network, open new lines to service, and improve our technological standards. We are also planning to cooperate with the private sector along our path leading us to better standards,'' Soyler said.

    [08] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS CONVENES

    ANKARA - Council of Ministers convened on Friday under the leadership of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

    The meeting started at 11:00 local time in Premiership central building.

    [09] WOLFENSOHN, WORLD BANK CHIEF, IN QUAKE HIT REGION

    GOLCUK - James Wolfensohn, World Bank Chief, held contacts in quake hit region in Golcuk.

    Wolfensohn, accompanied by Hasan Gemici, State Minister, went to Golcuk Fleet Commandership from Istanbul.

    Wolfensohn firstly visited Kavakli region of which some buildings and sports centers remained under the sea on massive August 17 quake.

    Wolfenshon later proceeded to Degirmendere, where 3500 permanent houses will be build up with the financial support of World Bank, and visited tent site of the Red Crescent.

    Wolfensohn met with the residents of tent site, and asked how they passed the winter.

    Kemal Karadag, Golcuk Head Official, briefed World Bank Chief about the distribution of foodstuff.

    Wolfensohn later left for Ankara.

    [10] MINISTRY OF FINANCE REPORT ON THE AFTERMATH OF THE QUAKE

    ANKARA - The Ministry of Finance said on Friday, that a total of 611 trillion Turkish Liras had been spent in 1999, and 258 trillion Turkish Liras in the January-March 2000 period in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Marmara and Duzce.

    The Finance Ministry issued a report documenting the expenses made by various public establishments and bodies in the wake of the earthquakes in Bolu and Duzce. The report said that the government took the necessary judicial, administrative, and financial measures immediately after the earthquakes.

    According to the report, various public establishments and bodies spent a total of about 611 trillion Turkish Liras in 1999 after August 17, when the devastating earthquake struck the Marmara region.

    An income of about 100 trillion Turkish Liras was obtained from additional taxes.

    As for the first three months of the year 2000, the expenses totalled to 258 trillion Turkish Liras, with a 106 trillion-lira part of it provided from the budget.

    Various public institutions and bodies applied for additional appropriations worth 1,5 quadrillion Turkish Liras. The requests were taken into consideration and the necessary sources were provided to the requesting institutions, so as not to cause any hithces in their services.

    Donations collected at the Ziraat Bank quake account totalled to 157,9 trillion Turkish Liras, a 155,5 trillion part of which ws transferred to the Disasters Fund and the Regional Disaster Coordinatorship.

    The donations made by individuals or privately owned establishments were not included in this sum.

    The Treasury received guarantees from various countries and international organisations that they would provide credits, worth a total of 3,7 billion U.S dollars.

    [11] BOATING DISASTER IN BESIKDUZU

    -LAST MISSING DEAD BODY REMOVED FROM THE SEA
    BESIKDUZU - Dead body of a woman, reported to be missing after two boats capsized and sank on Saturday in coastal town of Besikduzu of Trabzon province in Black Sea Region, was removed from the sea.

    Fishermen found the dead body of Gonul Yanik (18) on the surface of water. Thus, dead bodies of all the people, who died in boating disaster, were removed from the sea.

    Meanwhile, 15 of the 16 injured people were released from the hospitals where they received medical treatment.

    Treatment of Emine Yayli continue in Trabazon Numune Hospital.

    Two overloaded rowboats carrying a number of people who wanted to take a boat trip to celebrate traditional ''May Seven'' festival, capsized due to strong northeast wind.

    [12] REPO TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN BANKS AND THEIR

    CUSTOMERS INCREASE 189.2 TRILLION TL
    ANKARA - The repo transactions between banks and their customers increased by 189 trillion 182 billion Turkish Liras (TL) between May 5 and 12.

    The Central Bank data shows that the repo transactions, which were 7 quadrillion 211.2 trillion TL on May 5, increased to 7 quadrillion 400.3 trillion TL on May 12.

    The reverse repo transactions, which were 14 trillion 165 billion TL on May 5, decreased 7 trillion 518 billion TL to 6 trillion 647 billion TL on May 12.

    The repo transactions among the financial organizations rose 199.3 trillion TL to 2 quadrillion 344.9 trillion TL on May 12. The total repo transactions amount was 2 quadrillion 145.6 trillion TL on May 5.

    The reverse repo transactions among the financial organizations, which were 2 quadrillion 143.9 trillion TL on May 5, increased 194.6 trillion TL to 2 quadrillion 338.5 trillion TL on May 12.

    [13] BANKS' CREDIT VOLUME INCREASES 208.6 TRILLION TL

    ANKARA - The banks' credit volume increased 208.6 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 22 quadrillion 230.8 trillion TL between May 5 and 12.

    The total credit volume at banks was 22 quadrillion 22.2 trillion TL on May 5.

    The Central Bank data shows that the total credits in the system was composed of 1 quadrillion 307.5 trillion TL of loans given to financial sector and 20 quadrillion 923.3 trillion TL of loans given to non-financial sector as of May 12.

    The credits given to financial sector were composed of 680.8 trillion TL of loans given by deposit banks, 625.1 trillion TL of loans given by development and investment banks and 1.6 trillion TL of loans given by the Central Bank.

    [14] SECURITIES ACCOUNT AT BANKS INCREASES 265.6 TRILLION TL

    ANKARA - The securities acoount at banks increased 265 trillion 611 billion Turkish Liras (TL) to 13 quadrillion 339.5 trillion TL on May 12.

    The total securities account at banks was 13 quadrillion 73.8 trillion TL on May 5.

    The Central Bank data shows that there were a total of 13 quadrillion 40.8 trillion TL of securities including 9 quadrillion 744 trillion TL of securities, and 3 quadrillion 296.7 trillion TL of securities over foreign currency at the deposit banks portfolio.

    The securities over TL at deposit banks are composed of 1 quadrillion 110.7 trillion TL in treasury bonds, 7 quadrillion 916.1 trillion TL in state debenture bonds and 544.5 trillion TL in stocks.

    A total of 492.5 trillion TL of foreign currency securities at these banks are abroad while there is a total of 1 quadrillion 883.2 trillion TL of state debenture bonds among the domestic securities.

    The total securities account at the development and investment banks was 298.7 trillion TL.

    [15] TURKISH TRADE DELEGATION TO GO TO IRAN ON SATURDAY

    ANKARA - A trade delegation consisting of 140 people will go to Iran on Saturday despite the tension in political relations between the two countries.

    The delegation which is headed by Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursad Tuzmen has 120 businessmen from 92 firms, bureaucrats, and journalists. The delegation members will be joined by other businessmen who will be coming from the eastern provinces Agri, Kars, Erzurum, Erzincan and several south eastern provinces. Therefore, the number of businessmen in the delegation could reach up to 200.

    Tuzmen, during his visit which will last until June 1, will be received by Iranian Industry Minister Shafei. He will also have contacts with Deputy Finance Minister, Chambers Union Chairman and Tehran Mayor. The border trade joint committee of Iran and Turkey will convene o May 29. The problems faced in border trade will be discussed at the meeting.

    The trade volume between Turkey and Iran, due to the a special system based on oil used between 1980 and 1991, increased to 2.3 billion U.S. dollars in 1985 but then until 1997, it could not go over 1 billion U.S.

    In 1998, the trade volume was 625.3 million U.S. dollars which was consisted of 193.6 million U.S. dollars of export and 431.7 million U.S. dollars of import. Last year, it increased to 793.7 million U.S. dollars consisting of 157.8 million U.S. dollar export and 635.9 million U.S. dollars of import. Turkey always has a trade deficit with Iran since a major part of its import is oil.

    Foreign trade deficit with Iran was 238.1 million U.S. dollars in 1998 and it increased to 478.1 million U.S. dollars in 1999.

    Iran provides 90 percent of its export income from oil. It also exports petroleum oil, zinc and zinc concentrate, processed copper and electric energy. Turkey imported 6.4 million U.S. dollars worth of electric energy from Iran last year. There is an agreement regarding the integration of electric systems among Turkey, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

    Turkey exports cord fabric, iron-steel products, tobacco, plastic plates, tyres, various car pieces, synthetic fiber, margarine and cotton fabric.

    Currently, in Turkey there are 317 Iranian companies whose total capital is 4.8 trillion U.S. dollars.

    As a part of the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat's ''development of trade with neighbour countries'' programme, Turkey had Joint Economy Commission meetings with Iran and Syria and a trade delegation visited Iraq during the meeting.

    The trade delegation will return home on June 1.

    [16] SECURITY FORCES CONFISCATE 50 KG OF HEROIN

    HAVING A MARKET VALUE OF 500 BILLION TL
    GAZIANTEP - Security forces confiscated on Friday 50 kg of heroin in an operation launched in southeastern Gaziantep province.

    Ali Kalkan, the Director of Gaziantep Security Department, told the A.A correspondent, ''security forces stopped and searched a lorry near Oguzeli township. They impounded 48 packages of heroin hidden in the vehicle. Kamil Ozcakici, driver of the lorry, was taken into custody. He told us that the drug was brought to Gaziantep from eastern Van province. He said that they were planning to market it in foreign countries.''

    Kalkan added that the market value of the drug was nearly 500 billion Turkish liras (TL).

    [17] MINIMUM WAGE TO INCREASE FROM 80 MILLION TO 86 MILLION AS OF JULY 1

    ANKARA - The mimumum wage which is currently 80 million 550,000 Turkish Liras (TL) net will increase to 86 million 922,000 TL as of July 1.

    The gross minimum wage will increase from 109 million 800,000 TL to 118 million 800,000 TL. After the raise, a worker who is working for minimum wage will pay 2 million 376,000 TL to Unemployment Insurance Fund instead of the current 2 million 376,000.

    According to a research made by Turkish Labour Unions Confederation (Turk-Is), the 6 million 372,000 TL increase of the minimum wage is enough to buy only 3 kilos 200 grams of white cheese.

    The research also said that in the month of May, a family with four members need 145 million U.S. dollars for their basic needs and it needs 440 million TL to have a mimimum life standard.

    Minimum Wage Commission member Turk-Is General Training Secretary salh Kilic said the government has the authority to apply tax exemption from people who work for minimum wage ccording to Article 3834 but he claimed that the government does not do this although the workers and employers agree on this issue.

    Noting that there are 5 million workers working for minimum wage, Kilic said if the government allows tax exemption for those who receive minumum wages, there will be a serious increase in their salaries.

    Currently, 15 million 372,000 Social Security Authority (SSK) premium, 11 million 22,300 TL income tax, 2 million 196,000 mendatory savings (as of June 1, it will be ''unemployment insurance fund'') and 658,800 TL stamp tax is deducted from the gross minimum wage of 109 million 800,000 TL. The deductions total up to 29 million, 249,000 TL.

    [18] LINN, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF WORLD BANK:

    -''IF TURKEY CONTINUES TO IMPLEMENT ECONOMIC
    PROGRAM SUCCESSFULLY, IT WILL BECOME THE MOST
    POWERFUL COUNTRY OF ITS REGION''
    ANKARA - Johannes Linn, the Deputy Chairman of World Bank for Europe, said on Friday that if Turkey continues to implement economic program successfully, it will become the most powerful country of its region.

    Linn who came to Ankara together with James Wolfensohn, the President and Chairman of Executive Directors of World Bank, told A.A correspondent that the World Bank attributed great importance to Turkey.

    Linn stressed that if Turkey continued to implement economic program and structural reforms successfully, it would reach its economic targets.

    He added that the World Bank was ready to provide support to Turkey.

    [19] 12TH INTERNATIONAL ANKARA FILM FESTIVAL

    -''MAY BOREDOM'' PRESENTED WITH BEST NATIONAL FILM AWARD
    ANKARA - ''May Boredom (Mayis Sikintisi)'' was presented with the Best National Film Award at the 12th International Ankara Film Festival.

    Staging a press conference at the Dedeman Hotel, jury headed by Prof. Dr. Oguz Makal, announced the award-winners of the festival.

    The award-winners are as follows:

    Best National Film : May Boredom

    Best Director : Kutlug Ataman with Lola and Bilidikid

    Best Female Performance : Meltem Cumbul, Trial (Durusma)

    Best Male Performance : Kamran Usluer, Lady Salkim's Grains

    Best Supporting Actress : Guzin Coragan, Trial

    Best Supporting Actor : Burak Sergen, Bean (Fasulye) and Elevator (Asansor)

    Best Original Screenplay: Etyen Mahcupyan and Taner Baran, Lady Salkim's Grains

    Best Film Editor : Chris Squires, Lola and Bilidikid

    Best Art Director : Mustafa Ziya Ulkenciler, Lady Salkim's Grains

    Best Original Music : Tamer Ciray, Lady Salkim's Grains

    Best Fiction : Sedat Karadeniz, Children of Dark City (Kara Kentin Cocuklarý)

    Bes Promising Actor : Selim Erdogan, Bean

    Mahmut Tali Ongoren Special Award: Lady Salkim's Grains (Salkim Hanimin Taneleri)

    [20] MALAZGIRT OPERATIONS AGAINST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION

    -HACI INAN, A LEADING NAME OF HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION,
    AND THREE MEMBERS OF HEZBOLLAH'S DEATH SQUAD SENT TO
    KONYA FOR REENACTMENT
    MERSIN - Haci Inan, one of the leading names of terrorist Hezbollah organization, and three members of the Hezbollah's death squad who were taken into custody during nationwide Malazgirt Operations, were sent to central Konya province on Friday to do reenactment.

    Inan together with Sabahattin Alkan, Abdulsettar Yildizbakan and Mehmet Bayram, member of the Hezbollah's death squad, were sent to Konya after their interrogation was completed in southern Icel province.

    They will do reenactment in two hide-outs under which eight bodies were exhumed during operations launched in Konya on January 21 and January 22.

    [21] TURKISH-GREEK COOPERATION IN BANKING

    ISTANBUL - Bank Kapital will seek its fifth syndicated loan through Alpha Bank, the biggest private bank in Greece for the first time as the only organizer.

    Bank Kapital issued a statement saying that it would offer its new syndicated loan to international markets with a 20 million U.S. dollars initial amount and libor+1.25 annual interest rate.

    The syndicated loan will be used to meet requirements of exporter clients.

    The Greek banks which had taken place as participators or co-organizers in Turkish banks' syndicated loans will for the first time be the only organizer.

    The statement said the syndicated loan signed between Bank Kapital and Alpha Bank targeted to contribute to bilateral relations between Turkey and Greece.

    [22] CUBAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER MORALES:

    -''WE CAN COOPERATE WITH TURKEY IN EVERY FIELD''
    IZMIR - Cuban Agriculture Minister Alfredo Jordan Morales said Cuba and Turkey can work together in every field.

    After his tour in Izmir, Morales came to a cotton field in Torbali township. Here he told reporters that following Turkish Agriculture Minister's visit to Cuba, he came to Turkey to explore cooperation fields between the two countries.

    Morales said tobacco cooperation already started and the two countries agreed to set up a company which will produce special cigarettes. He said they also wanted to carry out similar projects for fruit and cotton.

    Morales said they were also interested in fishing, ship building, agriculture machines and he visited a tractor factory where he was briefed on tractor production.

    The Cuban minister noted that Turkey's food industry is sufficient for its 65 million people and the technology is widely used in this field which is a success for Turkey.

    Morales and those who accompanied him, toured the cotton field owned by a farmer named Yusuf Timer which briefed Morales on the irrigation, ploughing, planting and fertility of the field.

    Agriculture Provincial Director Muzaffer Agar said in the area 350 kilograms of cotton is produced from 1 decar field. He also noted that they will train Cuban technicans at Nazilli Cotton Research Institute as suggested by the exchange agreement signed with Cuba.

    [23] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING ENDS (2)

    ANKARA - The Council of Ministers sent all agreements and protocols regarding construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project, to the parliament.

    Addressing journalists following the Council of Ministers meeting presided by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Sukru Sina Gurel, the State Minister and Spokesman of Government, said, ''Interior Minister Tantan informed the Council of Ministers on the issue of the Commandership of Coast Guard's missions and responsibilities while Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer gave information on the works within framework of the constitutonal amendments and adjustment laws. Meanwhile, State Minister Ramazan Mirzaoglu briefed the Council of Ministers on his contacts in Cuba.''

    He told reporters, ''Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk gave information on three bills prepared by the Justice Ministry. These bills were accepted by the Council of Ministers and sent to the parliament for approval.''

    Gurel stressed that the Council of Ministers sent all agreements and protocols regarding construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project, to the parliament for approval.

    He noted, ''Azerbaijani parliament started to debate the agreements. We hope that Azerbaijani and Georgian parliaments would finalize debates till end-May. Then international arrangements will be approved by the parliaments and will come into force.''

    Gurel said that Tantan did not give information about the nationwide operations launched to capture suspects of the unsolved homicides including assasination of journalist-writer Ugur mumcu.

    Gurel said that the award which would be given by the State to the UEFA Cup winner Galatasaray had not been brought onto agenda of the meeting.

    [24] HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ORBAN PARTAKES IN LUNCHEON

    HOSTED BY TURKISH-HUNGARIAN BUSINESS COUNCIL
    ISTANBUL - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who is currently in Turkey on an official visit, partook on Friday in a luncheon hosted by Turkish-Hungarian Business Council.

    Addressing the luncheon, Orban said that Hungary had recorded great progress since it gained its independence.

    Orban stressed that they aimed at further improving relations with Turkey which was an examplary country with its great development and progress.

    Recalling that his visit was the first visit paid by a Hungarian Prime Minister to Turkey in 17 last years, Orban noted that both countries shared the same interests and benefits.

    Orban called on Turkish businessmen to make more investments in Hungary which will become a member of the European Union (EU) in the next three years.

    Meanwhile, Hangarian State Minister for Economy Gyorgy Matolcsy noted that their visit to Turkey aimed at further improving economic and commercial relations with Turkey.

    Matolcsy stressed that Hungarian companies were ready to take part in giant energy investments in Turkey.

    Addressing the meeting, Tugrul Erkin, the Chairman of Turkish-Hungarian Business Council, recalled that the Council was founded in 1992 in order to improve commercial relations between the two countries.

    ''Necessary infrastructure has been finalized to further improve commercial and economic relations between Turkey and Hungary. The Free Trade Agreement was the first step taken to this end. There are perfect political relations between the two countries. Both countries' targets in the foreign markets are same,'' Erkin said.

    [25] STATE MINISTER ONAL GIVES LUNCH TO HONOUR OF WORLD BANK

    PRESIDENT WOLFENSOHN
    ANKARA - State Minister Recep Onal gave a lunch to the honour of World Bank President James Wolfensohn on Friday.

    Following the lunch, Wolfensohn told reporters that he was not going to make a statement yet. Onal, on the other hand, said they discussed a wide range of subjects from the government's economic programme to education and agriculture. Onal also told reporters that Wolfensohn promised to support Turkey in every way they can.

    Onal also noted the World Bank authorities said they will consider the projects that Turkey will submit to them.

    The World Bank will support Turkey's all projects which can be financed and it will not impose anything in return, Onal also said.

    Noting that Turkey has no more credit demands from the World Bank, Onal said at this stage it is important to put into practice the credits which the World Bank agreed to give to Turkey.

    Onal stated that Wolfensohn wants to create new procedures to expedite these credits for Turkey and have more frequent meetings with Turkish high level authorities.

    Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Husnu Yusuf Gokalp who was also at the lunch, said he and Wolfensohn discussed restructuring and reform works in agriculture.

    [26] MALAZGIRT OPERATION AGAINST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION

    -BALLISTIC EXAMINATION OF WEAPONS CONTINUES
    ISTANBUL - Examination of weapons, false identity cards and documents which were impounded during nationwide Malazgirt operation against the terrorist Hezbollah organization, is continuing.

    Officials told the A.A correspondent that five out of 12 suspects who were taken into custody during the operations, were sent to different provinces to do reenactment.

    Haci Inan, a leading names of terrorist Hezbollah organization, and three members of the Hezbollah's death squad were sent to central Konya province to do reenactment after their interrogation was completed in Adana and Mersin security departments.

    Meanwhile, Hasan Kutluman, a member of the Hezbollah's death squad, was sent to Bingol province.

    [27] TRIAL OF 50 SUSPECTS CONTINUES WHO WERE INVOLVED IN

    BURNING OF MADIMAK HOTEL IN SIVAS
    ANKARA - Trial of 50 suspects who were involved in the burning of Madimak Hotel in Sivas which resulted in the deaths of 37 people continued on Friday at Ankara State Security Court.

    Seven suspects, two lawyers of the suspects and 12 intervenor lawyers were at the court hearing on Friday.

    Court Chairman Mehmet Orhan Karadeniz announced that they received a reply from the Interior Ministry and said suspects Mevlut Atalay, Durmus Tufan and Ali Kurt will not be able to benefit from the Amnesty Law.

    Kurt said he does not accept the Interior Ministry's decision and Tufan said he has nothing to say about the decision.

    Karadeniz said the other 17 suspects who did not attend Friday's hearing have informed the court in writing where they said they will not be able to come to the court because they were ill.

    Huseyin Ayan, lawyer of the suspects asked the court to release his clients.

    Intervenor lawyer Erdal Merdol said, ''for seven years they have been following the trial'' and complained about facing a procedure related problem at every hearing. ''We want the court to reach a decision at the next hearing,'' he asserted.

    Prosecutor Hamza Keles stated that they have no rejection to the Interior Ministry's decision and requested the court to continue to keep the suspects under arrest.

    Court Chairman Karadeniz decided to continue the suspects under arrest considering the existing evidence and the type of crime committed. He postponed the trial to another session during which a verdict will be announced about the suspects.

    [28] PREMIER ECEVIT RECEIVES WORLD BANK PRESIDENT WOLFENSOHN

    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received World Bank Chairman James Wolfensohn in his office at the Prime Ministry building on Friday.

    Following his meeting with Wolfensohn, Ecevit told reporters that the World Bank will provide Turkey a total of 5 billion U.S. dollar credit in the next three years.

    Wolfensohn said the government was following a serious reform programme and several structural reforms. ''During our meeting with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, we agreed that the coming period is very important,'' Wolfensohn said and praised the government's activities.

    Wolfensohn also said during their meeting they exchanged opinion about social justice and poverty in rural areas. ''We discussed subjects such as reforming the financial system, energy problems, education and retirement,'' he said.

    ''My visit showed me that the government is really taking things very seriously and the leadership of Prime Minister Ecevit is very important,'' Wolfensohn told reporters.

    [29] BAKU-TBILISI-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE PROJECT

    -AZERBAIJANI PARLIAMENT APPROVES PACKAGE AGREEMENTS
    BAKU - Azerbaijani parliament unanimously approved on Friday package agreements regarding the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project which will transport Azerbaijani oil to world markets via Turkey.

    Natik Aliyev, the Chairman of the Azerbaijani State-run Oil Company (SOCAR), said, ''current oil production will increase after 'Faza-1' program including most of main oil production in Azeri, Cirak and Gunesli beds, is put into practice. 'Faza-1' program envisages construction of a line between Azeri and Cinak-1 beds.''

    Aliyev said that annual oil export capacity of Azerbaijan would rise up to 23 million tonnes in 2003.

    Valeh Aleskerov, the Deputy Chiarman of SOCAR, stressed that the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline was the best project to transport Azerbaijani oil to world markets.

    He noted that the project would guarantee Azerbaijan's independence.

    The package agreements are expected to be approved by Turkish and Georgian parliaments in coming days.

    [30] IMF TURKEY DESK CHIEF COTTARELLI MEETS WITH

    AGRICULTURE MINISTER GOKALP
    ANKARA - IMF Turkey Desk Chief Carlo Cottarelli visited Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Husnu Yusuf Gokalp on Friday.

    Before the meeting, Gokalp told reporters that he will discuss not the grain minimum prices with Wolfensohn, but the basic principles. ''The Minister Coulcil decides over the grain prices. There should be no misunderstanding over this,'' he said.

    Gokalp noted that before submitting a letter of intent to the IMF, they had long contacts with IMF and World Bank authorities. ''Therefore, the principles that are included in the letter of intent are limited by returning the farmers' efforts,'' he said.

    When asked if they were going to increase the wheat prices by 27 percent, Gokalp said they have not yet completed their studies on wheat prices. ''This price was reflected incorrectly to the press. We have not yet taken this issue to the Ministers Council,'' he added.

    Gokalp stressed the importance of agriculture for a country and said agricultural reform is needed in Turkey. He said they formed Agricultural Support and Restructuring Council to prevent more than one decision making mechanism and also sent Agriculture Services Law to the Prime Ministry.

    Gokalp said 250 million U.S. dollars was needed for farmer registration system and 580 million U.S. dollars for production planning for three years. He noted that they already submitted these issues to the World Bank and said he will also discuss these matters with Cottarelli.

    The project which was prepared to adjust agricultural input prices with world prices has been presented to the World Bank, Gokalp also noted.


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