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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-10-31
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.com.tr/>31 MAY 2000 Wednesday
 FOREIGN MINISTRY: ''IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF TURKEYAND IRAN TO MAINTAIN THE PRESENT GOOD RELATIONS''
ANKARA - The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it is in the interest of Turkey and Iran to maintain the present good relations.
Sermet Atacanli, the Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman, told the weekly press conference that the maintenance of good relations between Turkey and Iran is important.
Atacanli noted that there are some problems between the two countries and that two countries should deal with these problems seriously.
When a journalist reminded Atacanli that there are news saying that some diplomatic efforts, like applying visa to Iran, will be launched, Atacanli said that this issue is not on the agenda.
Meanwhile, officials of the Foreign Ministry said that Turkey will decide whether or not to impose sanctions on Iran following the high-level contacts between two countries.
 HEAVY RAIN FLOODS TWO HOUSES AND DAMAGES AGRICULTURAL LANDIN NEVSEHIR
NEVSEHIR - Uninterrupted rain flooded two houses and damaged 5,000 acres of agricultural land in Nevsehir's Cardak village on Tuesday.
The villagers are trying to protect their houses against the flood by building a wall with tractors, Cardak Headman Avsar Ozer told A.A.
Ozer also said the flood caused no casualties.
 AGRICULTURE MINISTER GOKALP VISITS FLOODED AREAS IN SAMSUNSAMSUN - Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Husnu Yusuf Gokalp said on Tuesday that the ministry will delay the loans of farmers in Samsun, Amasya and Tokat region who suffered material loss because of the flood.
Gokalp came to the Black Sea province of Samsun to examine the flood's effects and he was met by Samsun Governor Metin Ilyas Aksoy at Samsun-Carsamba Airport.
Gokalp told Aksoy that the Parliament on Tuesday discussed delaying of farmers' loans. He also noted that they have started the necessary works to help the farmers.
The producers will receive the support they need according to the decree which was prepared after the flood disasters in Adana and Icel.
''First of all, farmers' loans to agriculture credit cooperatives and Ziraat Bank will be postponed with no interest for one year. Farmers who suffered loss will be given new loans regardless of their previous debts. Producers with no debts who lost their crop will be given credit with low interest rate,'' he explained.
Gokalp said he was grieved over the death of two brothers in the flood in Carsamba province. ''Our only consolation is that nobody else died,'' he said.
On Wednesday, Gokalp will visit other areas which were flooded in Samsun, Amasya and Tokat.
 TUZMEN MEETS WITH IRANIAN TRANSPORTATION MINISTERTEHRAN - Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursat Tuzmen had a meeting with Iranian Transportation Minister Mahmud Hucceti on Tuesday.
During their meeting, Tuzmen told Hucceti that Turkey is ready to increase its cooperation with Iran in agriculture, energy and natural gas pipeline.
Tuzmen said it is possible for Turkish and Iranian companies to make mutual investments in free regions which will help to build strong ties between two countries. He asked Hucceti to work to remove obstacles in front of trade between Turkey and Iran, to increase financial affairs between the two countries, to solve customs related problems and to facilitate the entrance of Turkish trucks into Iranian soil.
Huccedi denied the allegations of Turkish truck drivers who were not secure and whose goods were stolen and stressed that his country is willing to follow up on the issue.
Hucceti said they are ready to bring solutions to customs related problems which emerged ''because Turkey failed to fulfill its commitments'' and stressed that Iran fulfilled its commitments over this matter.
Hucceti who is also the Co-Chairman of Turkey-Iran Joint Economy Commission, said if the two countries manage to strengthen railway transportation between them, the problems rooted from highway transportation such as customs and fuel will cease to exist.
 TGC CHAIRMAN GURELI:''MEDIA HAS TO BE ECONOMICALLYPROSPEROUS IN ORDER TO BE INDEPENDENT''
ISTANBUL - Turkey Journalists Association Chairman Nail Gureli said on Tuesday that the press should be economically prosperous in order to be independent.
Speaking at a ''Media-Government Relations'' panel meeting as a part of 10th Cemberlitas Book Fair, Gureli said those who have political and economic power use media to get the support of the public opinion. However, he said the press should not become a tool for these circles in return of personal interests.
Politicians get along well with the press while they are in opposition but their relations take a bad turn once they become the ruling party and the press starts criticizing them.
''The press must be economically well-off in order to be independent,'' he went on to say. ''But this strength should not come from the governing party or certain focuses of power which might make the press dependent on them, but it should come from its natural sources like newspaper sales and ads.''
Hurriyet Newspaper columnist Tufan Turenc who also spoke at the meeting said all over the world governments want to hold the media under control but only in healthy democracies the governments cannot pressure the press. The press will resist these pressures as long as it can financially stay on its feet, he said and added that the Turkish newspapers have to sustain good relations with the government since their income from newspaper sales and ads is limited.
Zaman Newspaper columnist Huseyin Gulerce said media and people splitted up. ''Media and politics are going through a serious erosion of trust. Turkey needs a big reform. This pessimistic picture can change only through one way and that is more democracy and supremacy of law,'' Gulerce said.
 SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL ASPENDOS OPERA ANDBALLET FESTIVAL TO START ON JUNE 10
ISTANBUL - The Seventh International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival will be held between June 10 and July 10.
Staging a press conference, Huseyin Akbulut, the Deputy Undersecretary of Culture Ministry, said on Tuesday that the festival in the ancient Aspendos Theatre would make a valuable contribution to promote Turkey abroad.
Remzi Buharali, the Director General of State Opera and Ballet, noted that the festival would start with the ''9th Symphony'' of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Buharali told reporters that the Aspendos would host the Russian Army Choir, Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet, Romanian Cluj-Napoca Opera and State Academic Bolshoi Theatre.
The State Opera and Ballet will perform ''Turandot'' of Giacomo Puccini.
 TURKISH-KAZAKH FRIENDSHIP RECEPTIONANKARA - Culture Minister Istemihan Talay on Tuesday expressed pleasure over friendship between Turkey and Kazakhstan.
Talay addressed the ''Turkish-Kazakhstan Friendship Reception,'' staged jointly by Culture Ministry, Kazakhstan's Embassy in Ankara and Bilkent University.
Talay said translation of ''In the Flow of History'' book of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev into Turkish was very important, adding that, ''I am pleased over the promotion of the valuable masterpiece of Nazarbayev.''
Talay said Nazarbayev, with his book, conveyed heritage of Turkish World from the past to today. He said the book included a deep history and accumulation of Turkish culture, adding that it would shed light to Turkish world and the whole world.
Altinbek Sarsenbayev, Kazakh Culture and Information Minister said the two countries did important cooperation in social, cultural, and education field, and pointed out the positive relations between Turkey and Kazakhstan.
 E-COMMERCE MEETING TAKES PLACE IN ISTANBUL-ITKIB DIRECTOR ARTOK: ''ACTIVE USAGE OF INTERNET IS A
MUST IN COMMERCE AND COMPETITION''
ISTANBUL - Nuri Artok, Executive Board Director of Union of Textile and Confection Exporters of Istanbul (ITKIB) said on Tuesday, that the active usage of the internet and its facilities is the condition of being one step further in commercial competition.
Artok, who delivered a speech at the meeting ''Latest Developments in E-Commerce, and Their Effects on Textile Sector'', organised by the ITKIB, said that the global e-trade volume was something around 100 billion U.S dollars at present, and that it was expected to reach 1,5 trillion in two years' time.
Noting that Turkey was yet backward from the point where she should have been in e-commerce, Artok said the main reason behind this was the fact that the Turkish Telecom had not yet been privatised.
He said that a boost in widespread usage of the internet and its facilities would come only after the privatisation of the Turkish Telecom.
Artok stressed that the cost of commercial transactions constituted only 7 to 10 percent of the world's total trade volume at present, adding that e-commerce not only dropped the risks of commercial transactions to minimum, but it also pulled down the cost, and gained impetus to the transactions.
Artok pointed out that the textile sector had not to neglect the benefits of electronic trade.
Levent Hekimoglu, Executive Board Director of TexYard, an e-commerce stock exchange company, furnished the participants with information on TexYard.
Hekimoglu said that the products of all the subsidiary sectors were being traded through bidding, and that their medium scale strategies allowed them to trade stock goods at a cost, higher by 30 to 35 percent.
He said that the TexYard company provided its customers with such integrated services as trade partner search, product research, samples, post-sale payments, insurance, quality control, and transportation.
 TURKEY'S INITIATIVES FOR TOURISM IN THE U.S.NEW YORK - Tourism office of Turkey in New York will start new initiatives to promote Turkish tourism in the U.S.
Advertisements promoting tourism will be shown in American televisions in prime time programs.
The advertisements will be distributed among the famous programs of television channels like CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and History Channel.
New York Tourism Attache's office said the TV advertisements will be shown around New York and Los Angeles, which have the quality of big markets, and will continue for five months.
Meanwhile, ''New Turkey'' program, which was shoot for ''The Visited Places'' of the PBS television, will be shown on June 7.
The program ''Turkey,'' which will take place in ''Miracle Regions,'' will be broadcasted on June 2.
 PROFILE OF EXPORTS FROM GAP REGION-IN FIRST FOUR MONTHS, 47.7 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS
OF AGRICULTURAL AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS EXPORTED TO
GAZIANTEP - The exports of agricultural and animal products to the European Union (EU) member countries from the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region in the first four months of 2000 increased 7.9 percent to 47 million 764 thousand U.S. dollars.
In the same period last year, the region exported 44 million 249 thousand U.S. dollars of agricultural and animal products to the EU countries.
Officials at the Southeastern Anatolia Exporters' Union, told the A.A correspondent on Wednesday that in the first four months of the year, they exported 39 million 396 thousand U.S. dollars in textiles; 609 thousand U.S. dollars in grain-cereals; 7 million 180 thousand U.S. dollars in dried fruits and 579 thousand U.S. dollars in livestock.
The majority of the goods were exported to Italy, Germany and Britain, and the Turkish goods in greatest demand were dried apricot, cotton thread, synthetic thread, textile, plastic sack, pistachio, biscuit, cake and candy.
 SECURITY FORCES CAPTURE 133 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTSEDIRNE - Security forces intercepted on Wednesday 133 illegal immigrants in Ipsala and Meric townships of nortwestern Edirne province as they were trying to proceed to Greece illegally.
The immigrants including Iranians, Morroccans, Palestinians, Indians, Pakistanis, Afghans and Bangladeshis were taken into custody for violating the Turkish borders and the passport law.
Officials told the A.A correspondent that the illegal immigrants would be deported once the legal proceedings are completed.
 CONTACTS OF IMF DELEGATIONANKARA - Carlo Cottarelli, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Turkey Desk Chief, said on Wednesday that realization of income targets, mainly the income that will be obtained from the strategic block sell-off of Turkish Telekom, was important in order to prevent current budget deficit to exceed of the programmed budget deficit figure.
Cottarelli, in his meeting with the economy officials, pointed out the importance of cash incomes that will be obtained from privatization, and recalled that all the income that will obtained after privatization of Turk Telekom should be tranferred to the Treasury after the sale.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Cottarelli mentioned Fuel Consumption Tax (ATV), and stressed that it was difficult to reach the targeted four quadrillion lira income in ATV.
Officials said the income in ATV could decrease 350-400 trillion lira as some vehicles have been turned to Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). It was reported that within the scope of the developments, the tax taken from LPG, could be increased.
Pointing out the importance of current account deficit, Cottarelli said there may be necessity to take additional measures in case current account deficits give signals in April and May despite the incomes that will be obtained in tourism.
Cottarelli also stressed that current accounts and balance of payments were very important for the continuation of the program.
Officials said Value Added Tax (VAT) rations regarded with the luxurious consumption goods either in exportation and in domestic market could be increased within the framework of the mentioned measures.
Budget balance, including the interest, is programmed to give 18.750 quadrillion lira deficit this year.
Cottarelli, who got information about collective bargainings, also focused on the collective bargainings that will expire in the second half of this year.
Cottarelli proposed to determine a policy within the framework of compromise principles that will be assessed in Economic and Social Council regarding collective bargainings in public and in private sector.
 BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE PROJECTANKARA - Industry, Trade, Energy, Natural Resources, Information, and Technology Commission Thursday will discuss the draft law regarding ratification of the protocol envisaging an Amendment to the Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Agreement that is among Turkey-Azerbaijan-Georgia.
The draft law foresees amendment to agreements signed between the governments, and which include arrangements regarding tranfer of Caspian oils to the world markets via Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
The reason of the draft law said approval of the protocol related with oil pipeline that will start from Baku and extend to Ceyhan via Tbilisi, has a ''vital importance'' for the implementation of the pipeline project which form the first leg of East-West Energy Corridor.
It said, ''this project will further increase the geostrategical importance of Turkey which is an exit to transport Caspian oil to the world markets, and at the same time will help improvement of economic and social relations among the countries which the pipeline passes through.''
''Also, tranfer of oil from Ceyhan Harbour to the whole world will bring facilities for Ceyhan Harbour to become an important international oil market center.''
With the implementation of the project, tanker traffic in the Black Sea and the Straits will decrease relatively and that it will have positive contribution on the environmental safety of the Straits and Istanbul.
 TURKISH AND BULGARIAN CUSTOMS OFFICIALSGET READY TO WAGE JOINT FIGHT AGAINST SMUGGLING
EDIRNE - Turkish and Bulgarian customs officials will take part in exchange programs within the framework of the agreement that Turkish and Bulgarian ministries in charge of customs had signed in 1997, officials said on Wednesday.
Necati Senturk, Civil Administration Director and Vice Governor of Kapikule told the A.A correspondent that Turkish and Bulgarian customs officials had signed a protocol foreseeing the waging of a joint fight against smuggling and the solution of the existing problems at the end of the 2-day talks they held in Edirne.
Senturk said that the protocol also foresaw the participation of customs personnel of the two countries, in an exchange program aimed at improving the communication between their offices.
 TURKEY COMPETES WITH MEXICO TO HOST 2003 INTERNATIONALSPORTS GAMES AMONG UNIVERSITIES
ANKARA - Turkey competes with Mexico to host 2003 International Sports Games Among Universities.
The International Universities' Sports Federation asked Turkey whether or not it is also willing to host the sports games in 2005 prior to the voting which will be held in Beijing, China, in July.
Kemal Tamer, the Chairman of the Sports Federation, said that the place of 2005 sports games will be determined in the meeting which will be held in Beijing and asked the Youth and Sports General Directorate what its opinion was.
Kemal Mutlu, the Youth and Sports General Directorate, met with Ahmet Pristina, Izmir Mayor, and requested him to get prepared to not only 2003 sports games but also 2005 sports games.
Izmir Municipality will be a sponsor of the sports games with 5 million U.S. dollars.
Meanwhile, sources said that FISU chairman and general secretary will visit Izmir between June 17 and 18 and hold contacts regarding the 2003 sports games.
Kemal Tamer told A.A correspondent that Turkey and Mexico compete with each other to host 2003 sports games.
Tamer said that the FISU deputy chairman is a Mexican and that the Latin delegates are lobbying in favour of Mexico.
But, the European delegates are in favour of Turkey, Tamer noted.
Tamer stated that they think that the International Federation will decide to hold the 2005 sports games in Turkey but he is not sure about where the 2003 sports games will be held.
Tamer added that he and general secretary Nihat Toker will join the World University Sports Forum which will be held in Mexico between June 28 and July 1.
 U.S. AMBASSADOR PARRIS IN HAKKARIHAKKARI - U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Mark Parris and the accompanying delegation came to Hakkari on Wednesday.
Parris and his wife Joan Parris, Agricultural Attachee Susan Schayer, Commercial Attachee John Breidenstine and Adana Consular Stuart James were met by Hakkari Governor Orhan Isin.
Isin briefed Ambassador Parris about Hakkari's problems and told him that he is the second U.S. ambassador who visited the province since 1991.
''We are very pleased that the ambassador of our greatest friend and ally is visiting Hakkari,'' Isin noted. ''Turkey and the U.S. have acted together in all areas for a long time. Peace started taking over in our region and things will get better. We are also pleased that Hakkari dam will be built by a U.S. company.'' Isin later informed Parris about the dam's project.
Speaking at the meeting, Parris said he was glad to be in Hakkari with his friends. He said their visit to Hakkari was a reflection of the recent developments in the region. Parris noted that they are trying to collect detailed information about the region's situation to determine the fields the U.S. can be active. He said they need to travel to Zap valley in order to find out about the hydroelectric potential.
Parris later visited Hakkari State Hospital where he attended the delivery ceremony of the medical equipment donated to the hospital which is worth of 10 billion U.S. dollars.
 BUMIN, NEW CHAIRMAN OF CONSTITUTIONAL COURT:-''THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT WILL CONTINUE TO FULFIL ITS
RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE LIGHT OF ATATURK'S PRINCIPLES AND REFORMS''
ANKARA - Mustafa Bumin, the new Chairman of the Constitutional Court, said on Wednesday that the Constitutional Court will continue to fulfil its responsibilities in the light of Ataturk's principles and reforms as it has been doing for 38 years.
Following the voting for the new Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Bumin told reporters that the Constitutional Court will continue to protect the unseparable integrity of the state and country, to take into consideration the principles of democratic and secular Republic, and to respect to the human rights and freedoms.
Responding to a question about the closure case against the Virtue Party (FP), Bumin said, ''today's agenda was the elections. We will talk about the other issues later.''
Hasim Kilic, Ali Huner, Mustafa Bumin, Fulya Kantarcioglu, Sacit Adali, Rustu Sonmez, Mahir Can Ilicak, Tulay Tugcu, Yalcin Acargun and Ertugrul Ersoy, and the high-ranking alternate member Samia Akbulut casted votes in the Constitutional Court Chairmanship elections.
Besides Bumin, Ali Huner, Fulya Kantarcioglu, and Yalcin Acargun ran their candidacy for the Chairmanship.
Kantarcioglu got the highest four votes in the first three rounds.
Bumin was elected as the 15th Chairman of the Constitutional Court by receiving the absolute majority of the votes in the fourth round, which is six votes.
Acargun and Huner each received only one vote in the elections.
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