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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-06-11

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

11 JUNE 2000 Sunday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] MILD EARTHQUAKES JOLT KARABUK, KUTAHYA AND CANKIRI
  • [03] DEMISE OF SYRIAN PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD
  • [04] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM RETURNS HOME
  • [05] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM OFFERS HIS CONDOLENCE TO SYRIAN PEOPLE
  • [06] SPORTS - WRESTLING
  • [07] EURO 2000 CHAMPIONSHIP
  • [08] TURKEY TO HOST EUROPEAN WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2003
  • [09] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM LEAVES FOR KAZAKHSTAN
  • [10] SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL ASPENDOS OPERA AND
  • [11] CULTURE MINISTER TALAY VISITS CAPPADOCIA:
  • [12] DEMISE OF SYRIAN PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD
  • [13] U.S SENATE APPROVES ROBERT PEARSON'S APPOINTMENT
  • [14] STATE MINISTER GUREL LEAVES FOR AUSTRIA
  • [15] FOREIGN AID TO QUAKE-HIT REGION
  • [16] ANCIENT RUINS FIGHT AGAINST WATER
  • [17] TURKISH-GREEK FRIENDSHIP NIGHT IN BERLIN
  • [18] STATE MINISTER KECECILER:
  • [19] TURKISH ARMENIAN PATRIARCHATE OBSERVES 539TH FOUNDATION ANNIVERSARY
  • [20] JUSTICE MINISTER TURK RETURNS TO TURKEY
  • [21] OPERATIONS AGAINST HEZBOLLAH IN BITLIS
  • [22] NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER CAKMAKOGLU DEPARTS FROM BRUSSELS
  • [23] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT:
  • [24] DEMISE OF SYRIAN PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD
  • [25] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT ATTENDS MEETING OF GOVERNORS
  • [26] GENERAL CONGRESS MEETING OF JOURNALISTS' FEDERATION OF TURKEY
  • [27] SECURITY FORCES IMPOUND 49 KG OF HEROIN IN ISTANBUL
  • [28] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM ARRIVES IN KAZAKHSTAN
  • [29] THE 539TH ANNIVERSARY OF FOUNDATION OF TURKISH ARMENIAN
  • [30] STATE MINISTER GEMICI RETURNS TO TURKEY
  • [31] STATE MINISTER GUREL ARRIVES IN AUSTRIA
  • [32] HEALTH MINISTER DURMUS RETURNS TO TURKEY
  • [33] SECURITY FORCES CAPTURE 202 PEOPLE WHO ATTEMPTED
  • [34] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT ATTENDS MEETING OF GOVERNORS


  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on June 11, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    SEZER SENDS CONDOLENCE MESSAGE
    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer sent a message of condolence to Syrian Vice-President Abdel-Halim Khaddam upon the death of Syrian Head of State Hafez al-Assad. Sezer said in his statement that he was grieved to hear of the demise of the great leader, who had served for the well-being of his people for many years, and expressed condolences on behalf of himself and the Turkish Nation.

    AMBASSADORS READ 'TORTURE REPORTS'
    The reports, prepared by the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission at the end of inspections and observations carried out at prisons, attracted the attention of the diplomatic representations of various countries. The officials from the diplomatic representations of the U.S., Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland, and the European Union applied to the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission to get their own copies of the report.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    ONE PERSON DIES OF HEART ATTACK IN AFTERSHOCK
    Aftershock killed one person in Asagikayilar village in Orta township of central Cankiri province. Serif Ali Yakin, 35, had a heart stroke as he tried to flee his house, when his hometown rocked with a strong aftershock on Saturday morning. Two aftershocks measuring 3.6 and 3.7 on the Richter scale at 04:10 a.m. and at 05:29 a.m. were recorded on Saturday with Cankiri-Cerkes as their epicenter.

    TURKEY TO HOST EUROPEAN WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
    Turkey will host European Women's Volleyball Championship between September 6-14, 2003.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    WORLD BANK SUPPORTS GOVERNMENT'S GRAIN PURCHASE POLICIES
    Ajay Chibber, World Bank's Turkey Director, said that the World Bank supported the Turkish government's grain purchase policies, adding that it was an indication of the determination to fully implement the economic reform program. Chibber said, about the grain purchase prices announced on Friday, that the prices indicated a fine balance between the farmers' demands and the inflation targets of the government, and that this balance was of vital importance from the standpoint of the economic reform program.

    TURKEY: ''DEMISE OF PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD WILL NOT AFFECT RELATIONS''
    Demise of Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad gave rise to discussions about future of relations between Turkey and Syria. Relations between the two countries are expected not to be affected in short term. As a result of Syria's cooperative attitude after Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, left Syria, positive developments have been recorded in relations. Turkish and Syrian delegations held six meetings within scope of the Adana Agreement.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    FIRE IN BEYOGLU
    The Beyoglu Fire Brigade and the Police Department were alarmed by two fires on Saturday; one at the British Consulate building, and the other at the Virtue Party (FP) headquarters. A fire at a workshop on one of the major boulevards of the district spread shortly to the two adjacent buildings. The fire brigade intervened soon and extingushed the blaze before it could wreak further damage on them.

    YALOVA: INFLATION ON THE STREET IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FIGURES
    State Minister Yuksel Yalova said that the Turkish public opinion was determined to defeat inflation. Yalova, who attended a panel on 'Inflation', organized by the Kizilay Rotary Club, said in the speech he delivered there, that both the state and the public opinion headed towards their aim upon one path, and that there was no disagreement between them. He pointed out that the opinions of the people on the street, were more important than figures and statistics, as far as the anti-inflationist fight was concerned.

    EIGHT SOLOISTS AND FOUR CONCERTOS
    Anadolu Insurance is celebrating its 75th foundation anniversary with a brilliant concert entitled as 'Eight Soloists for Four Concertos', which is to take place on Monday at Istanbul's Lutfi Kirdar International Congress and Exhibition Hall. Ayla Erduran and Cihat Askin on the violin, Sirin Pancaroglu on the harp, Bulent Evcil on the flute, Emre Tamer on the violin, and Ruya Taner, Ferhan Onder and Ferzan Onder on the piano, will give solo performances of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, and Francis Poulenc in accompaniment of the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and Rengim Gokmen as the maestro.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    TURKISH POLICE BECOMES IPA MEMBER
    General Directorate of Security announced that it had applied to the International Police Association (IPA)'s Executive Council for full membership on August 1, 1998 at its congress, and that the members of the IPA Turkey Section had been determined at the end of the congress. The Turkish Police became a member of the association by receiving 61 votes at IPA's Global Congress, held between May 8 and 14, 2000, the General Directorate said. IPA is the largest international association with 300 thousand police officers from 62 countries.

    ALL READY FOR THE FEAST
    Turkish Nationals are to encounter with their Italian rivals in their first Euro 2000 match today. Scottish Hugh Dallas will be the referee of the encounter, which is to take start at 03:30 p.m. at Holland's Gelredome Stadium.

    YENI BINYIL (LIBERAL)

    NEW REPRESENTATIVE TO IMF TURKISH OFFICE
    Odd Per Brekk, who is expected to be appointed as the Representative of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Turkey Office, said that he was gathering information about Turkey these days, and expressed belief that the economic program would be successful so long as it was implemented fully and properly. The Norwegian-origin economist said that he had been monitoring the developments in Turkish economy, with extra attention since the day when he started working together with the IMF's Turkey Desk officials. He said there was no definite calendar set for his term of office as the Turkey representative, but that he could be appointed to the post before the autumn term.

    'BACH NIGHT' AT AYA IRINI
    The English Concert, one of Britain's best-loved instrumental bands, is giving a concert tonight at Istanbul's Haghia Eirene Hall. The evening concert, which is to start at 07:30 p.m., will stage the performance of Bach's Saint Matthaus Passion. The soloists are American lyric tenor Howard Crook, and baritone Raimund Nolte.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    ECEVIT DUE TO DIYARBAKIR
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will visit Diyarbakir province within framework of Southeastern Anatolia Development Project. He is scheduled to come together with governors of regional provinces and local officials.

    PRESIDENT SEZER'S MESSAGE TO ECO
    State Minister Mehmet Kececiler read out President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's message at the Sixth ECO Summit held in Iranian capital of Tehran. In his message, President Sezer said, ''I could not attend the ECO summit due to my busy program. Turkey, one of the founder members of the ECO, has undertaken serious responsibilities in enlargement of the organization. We have close cultural, historical and economic relations with member countries to the ECO. Cooperation among ECO members, will help member countries unify with the world economy within framework of the globalization process. Turkey will continue to encourage further improvement of relations among member countries, and to make important contributions to the organization.''

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    CANKIRI GOVERNOR ULUSOY: ''4,848 TENTS HAVE BEEN ERECTED''
    Halil Ulusoy, Governor of Cankiri, said that 6 thousand 9 tents had been sent to the quake stricken town, and 4,848 of them had been erected. ''We have 517 tents left, which have to be erected and opened to the accommodation of survivors,'' Ulusoy said. He noted that health services were being provided sufficiently and uninterruptedly, and that people were also provided with meals three times a day.

    [02] MILD EARTHQUAKES JOLT KARABUK, KUTAHYA AND CANKIRI

    ISTANBUL - Mild earthquakes jolted Karabuk, Kutahya and Cankiri provinces.

    Officials at Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute told the A.A correspondent that an earthquake measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale occerred in rural area between Sabanozu township of central Cankiri province and Cubuk township of Ankara at 07:49 a.m. on Saturday.

    Two earthquakes measuring 3.3 and 3.1 on the Richter scale jolted Karabuk province in Western Black Sea Region and in Tavsanli township of Aegean Kutahya province at 09:41 a.m. and at 10:52 a.m. on Saturday.

    Meanwhile, three aftershocks ranging from 3.2 to 3.8 on the Richter scale were recorded in Cerkes township of Cankiri province and Golyaka township of Duzce province between 10:58 a.m. on Saturday and 03:49 a.m. on Sunday.

    [03] DEMISE OF SYRIAN PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD

    -PRESIDENT SEZER SENDS A MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE
    TO SYRIAN VICE PRESIDENT KHADDAM
    ANKARA - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer sent a message of condolence to Syrian Vice President Abdel-Halim Khaddam on Saturday, and expressed his profound sorrow over demise of Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad.

    In his message, President Sezer said that President Al-Assad had served for stability and prosperity of Syria for years.

    President Sezer also implored God's strength upon all who are grieving.

    [04] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM RETURNS HOME

    ANKARA - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Saturday that the only reason why the Turkey-European Union (EU) negotiations on Turkey's prospective membership had been delayed, was the delay in Turkey's implementation of certain human rights and democration reforms.

    Cem, who returned home on Saturday after completing his tour around the Baltic countries, said at the press conference he held at Ankara's Esenboga Airport, that Turkey's image in the eyes of the Baltic countries were gradually getting better, and that this improvement was reflecting also in the Turkish tourism sector.

    Noting that the issue of 'Europe's security' had also been taken up within the framework of his contacts in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, Cem said, ''I, on behalf of Turkey, underlined that NATO was the guarantor of Europe's security. There might, of course, be other contributions, but NATO is the main element of security. We stressed that the EU membership of NATO member countries had to be inforced in the shortest time possible, for this is something which Turkey considers as a must for the continent's security.''

    Touching on his talks on affairs with the E.U, Cem said, ''all three countries I mentioned are ahead of us, regarding full membership in the Union. If Turkey wants to catch up with them, she has to hurry a little more in putting certain human rights and democratization targets into practice.''

    [05] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM OFFERS HIS CONDOLENCE TO SYRIAN PEOPLE

    ANKARA - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, offered his condolence to the Syrian people who are mourning for their President Hafez Al-Assad.

    Referring to relations between Turkey and Syria and the Middle East peace process, Cem said, ''I do not suppose that demise of President Hafez Al-Assad would jeopardize recent positive developments in relations between Turkey and Syria and in the Middle East peace process.''

    [06] SPORTS - WRESTLING

    -EUROPEAN YOUTH FREE STYLE AND GRAECO-ROMAN WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
    -ODABASI OF TURKEY COMES ON FOURTH PLACE IN 58 KG CATEGORY
    SOFIA - Tevfik Odabasi of Turkey competing in the 58 kg category, came on the fourth place in the European Youth Free Style and Graeco-Roman Wrestling Championships in Bulgarian capital of Sofia.

    Odabasi was defeated by his Italian opponent, and came on the fourth place.

    In the 54 kg category, Muhiyettin Uzun of Turkey beat his Belorussian opponent and qualified to the semi-final.

    Omer Cubukcu of Turkey competing in the 63 kg category, beat his Belorussian oppenent and qualified to the semi-final.

    Fatih Koyuncu of Turkey competing in the 76 kg category, beat his Polish opponent and qualified to the semi-final.

    [07] EURO 2000 CHAMPIONSHIP

    -ULUSOY, CHAIRMAN OF FOOTBALL FEDERATION:
    -''WE HAVE THE FAITH, DETERMINATION, AND POWER TO DEFEAT ITALIANS''
    ARNHEM - Haluk Ulusoy, Chairman of the Football Federation said on Saturday, that the Turkish Nationals have the faith, determination, and power to defeat their Italian rivals in the 11th Euopean Football Championship finals.

    Ulusoy, who arrived in the Netherlands on Saturday to watch the encounter, gave the nationals a moral boost before their Sunday match at the Geldedome Stadium.

    Speaking to reporters in Arnhem, Ulusoy said that he had full confidence in the Nationals, that they would display a brilliant performance in the encounter, and give the Turkish nation the joy that they had been waiting for.

    [08] TURKEY TO HOST EUROPEAN WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2003

    ISTANBUL - Turkey will host the European Women's Volleyball Championships in 2003, Ahmet Gulum, Chairman of the Volleyball Federation, said on Saturday.

    Gulum, who is in Spain, attending the European Volleyball Confederation's Executive Board meeting, said that the Women's Volleyball Championships of 2003 would be held in Istanbul between September 6 and 14, 2003.

    Gulum told the A.A correspondent that five countries had applied to the confederation in the first stage, to host the event, and that as a result of a brilliant promotion campaign, Turkey had won the race.

    He said that this was going to be the first time when Turkey would host this very special sports event.

    [09] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM LEAVES FOR KAZAKHSTAN

    ANKARA - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, left for Kazakhstan on Sunday on a two-day official visit.

    Cem will be received by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and Prime Minister Kasim Comert Tokayev.

    He is also scheduled to come together with his Kazakh counterpart Yerlan Idrisov.

    Cem's contacts are expected to focus on bilateral relations, recent developments in Central Asia, and regional and international issues.

    Cem will proceed to Kyrgyzstan after wrapping up his contacts in Kazakhstan.

    [10] SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL ASPENDOS OPERA AND

    BALLET FESTIVAL STARTS
    ISTANBUL - The Seventh International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival organized by the Directorate General of State Opera and Ballet, started on Saturday with the ''9th Symphony'' of Ludwig van Beethoven.

    Remzi Buharali, the Director General of State Opera and Ballet, said that the festival in the ancient Aspendos Theatre would make a valuable contribution to promote Turkey abroad.

    Buharali recalled that more than 100 thousand people had watched the last years's festival.

    He said that the Aspendos would host Russian Army Choir, Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet, Romanian Cluj-Napoca Opera and State Academic Bolshoi Theatre.

    Buharali added, ''the State Opera and Ballet will perform ''Turandot'' of Giacomo Puccini. Nicola Martinucci, one of the most prominent tenors of the world, will act as Prince Calaf in the opera.''

    [11] CULTURE MINISTER TALAY VISITS CAPPADOCIA:

    -''CAPPADOCIA HAS THE LARGEST TOURISM POTENTIAL
    AMONG ALL OTHER SPOTS OF TOURISTIC ATTRACTION''
    NEVSEHIR - Culture Minister Istemihan Talay said on Saturday that Cappadocia has the largest tourism potential compared to the other touristic spots of Turkey, and that the main factor in the rapid development of tourism in the region, is ''affection and tolerance''.

    Talay carried out observations in the underground city of Derinkuyu in Derinkuyu township of central Nevsehir province.

    Talay said that the inccome obtained from the touristic facilities in the area were being collected by the Ministry, and utilized for the preservation and restoration of the cultural heritage of the region.

    Completing his observations in the region, Talay attended a special night, ''Anatolia 2000, Cradle of Civilisations'' in Zelve Valley in the evening hours.''

    [12] DEMISE OF SYRIAN PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD

    -FOREIGN MINISTRY EXPRESSES ITS SORROW
    ANKARA - The Foreign Ministry expressed profound sorrow over demise of Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad.

    Releasing a statement, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that the Turkish people shared sorrow of the Syrian people who are mourning for their President Al-Assad.

    Imploring God's strength upon all who are grieving, the Foreign Ministry added, ''we believe that positive developments recorded recently in relations between Turkey and Syria, would continue in the future.''

    [13] U.S SENATE APPROVES ROBERT PEARSON'S APPOINTMENT

    AS U.S AMBASSADOR IN ANKARA
    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S Senate approved on Saturday appointment of Robert Pearson as the U.S Ambassador in Ankara by President Bill Clinton.

    Pearson is expected to take over the post from Ambassador Mark Parris late this year.

    In his latest post, Pearson was an Undersecretary at the U.S Embassy in France.

    [14] STATE MINISTER GUREL LEAVES FOR AUSTRIA

    ISTANBUL - Sukru Sina Gurel, the State Minister and the Spokesman of Government, left on Sunday for Austria.

    Addressing journalists at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul prior to his departure, Gurel said he would hold contacts in Austrian capital of Vienna between June 11 and 18.

    He noted that his contacts would focus on problems of Turkish people living in Austria and Germany.

    [15] FOREIGN AID TO QUAKE-HIT REGION

    IZMIT - The Italian government provided Turkey with aid worth 15 million U.S dollars to heal the wounds of the earthquake which devastated Marmara Region on August 17, 1999, Italian officials said on Sunday.

    Claudio Giubergia, Leader of the 'Immediate Aid to Quake Survivors' project, said that the project the Italian government had put into implementation in the wake of the August 17 earthquake, had been completed.

    Noting that they had sent four cargo plane loads of medicine, medical equipment, and emergency needs to the region in the first stage, Giubergia said that they had set up 3 tent cities in Kocaeli, Duzce, and Bolu.

    He said that they had provided about 4 thousand surviors with health services at the fully equipped health center they had set up in Izmit, and also with foodstuffs, clothing, beverages, medicine, and toys for kids, as well as 600 thousand dollars in cash.

    He said that the 15 million dollar project had been completed with the opening to service of 5 kindergartens, 10 health centers, and sports facilities.

    Giubergia added that a ceremony would be held on Monday to mark the completion of the project, and that Italy's Ambassador to Turkey Vittorio Claudio Surdo and Minister of Education Metin Bostancioglu would attend the ceremony.

    [16] ANCIENT RUINS FIGHT AGAINST WATER

    -ARCHAEOLOGISTS SAY TURKEY IS THE LEAST
    ARCHAEOLOGICALLY INSPECTED COUNTRY
    IZMIR - The fate of the ancient city of Zeugma, a significant part of which will soon be covered under the waters of the Birecik Dam, brought the existence of 'technology-threatened history' to the fore one more time, officials said on Sunday.

    Professor Mehmet Ozdogan, lecturer and archaeologist at Istanbul University said in a research report, that there were 120 dams under construction, and 110 others at the project-phase in Turkey, and that the environs and locations of only 7 of them had been scanned for archaeological purposes.

    Noting that about 200 ancient settlements would be covered under the waters of two dams after the completion of their consecutive constructions in the South East Anatolia Project (GAP) region alone, Professor Ozdogan said that there were many more cases similar to those in Zeugma and Hasankeyf, where technology threatened history.

    ''We do not have any idea about what we have lost, because no scanning or research has ever been made in the sites of many previously built dams. Turkey is one of the least-archaeologically-studied countries, which, ironically is one of the richest in this respect,'' said Ozdogan.

    [17] TURKISH-GREEK FRIENDSHIP NIGHT IN BERLIN

    BERLIN - A 'Turkish-Greek Friendship Night' was organized in the German capital of Berlin on Saturday.

    The night, organized by the Turkish Community of Berlin-Brandenburg and the Greek Democratic Association, staged performances by Greek band 'Anonimi', and by Ferhat Guneyli and his band 'Samanlar' (Shamans), and was attended also by Ozan Ceyhun, deputy from Union 90/Greens Party.

    [18] STATE MINISTER KECECILER:

    -''OUR PRESIDENT WAS EXCUSED FOR
    HIS FAILURE TO ATTEND THE SUMMIT''
    ANKARA - State Minister Mehmet Kececiler said on Sunday that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who had not been able to attend the Economic Cooperation (ECO) Summit due to his busy program, had sent his message of excuse, and message wishing success to the participants to Tehran.

    State Minister Mehmet Kececiler, who represented Turkey at the 6th Summit of the ECO on June 10th, returned home on Sunday.

    ''I conveyed both messages of President Sezer to the attendants. Officials excused President Sezer with undderstanding,'' said Kececiler.

    ''The resolutions taken at the ECO Council of Ministers meeting and the summit were issued in the Tehran Declaration at the end of the summit. The participants made a review of the activities of the organization, and sought new perspectives for the future. Turkey attaches great importance to the organization, whose target is to improve the social and economic standards of the member countries. I told the participants, that Turkey would continue play her part and do whatever might be necessary to strengthen the functionality of the organization,'' Kececiler said.

    ''The participants agreed that holding ministerial meetings on such issues as trade, transportation, energy, agriculture, industries, and human resources in the forthcoming terms, would be beneficial for all members,'' Kececiler told reporters at Esenboga Airport.

    [19] TURKISH ARMENIAN PATRIARCHATE OBSERVES 539TH FOUNDATION ANNIVERSARY

    -SATURDAY MASS AT KUMKAPI CHURCH COMMEMORATES DEMISED PATRIARCHS
    ISTANBUL - A special mass was held on Saturday at the Central Church in Kumkapi, Istanbul, to commemorate Sultan Mehmet II, the founder of the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul, and the 83 demised patriarchs, within the framework of events held to mark the 539th foundation anniversary of the Turkish Armenian Patriarchate.

    Following the special mass, in which hymns were sang in accompaniment of the Church Chorus, Patriarch Mesrob II told the attendants about the foundation of the Patriarchate.

    Every year, on the 50th day after the Easter, Turkish Armenians observe the foundation ceremony of the Patriarchate with ceremonies and hold special masses to commemorate the founder, Sultan Mehmet II and the demised patriarchs.

    [20] JUSTICE MINISTER TURK RETURNS TO TURKEY

    ISTANBUL - Hikmet Sami Turk, the Justice Minister, said on Saturday, ''two suspects of assasination of journalist-writer Ugur Mumcu are among those who were taken into custody in Umut (Hope) Operations. One person who was claimed to be a suspect of the assasination of Mumcu, has no connection with the incident.''

    Turk who had attended the 23rd European Justice Ministers' Conference in British capital of London between June 8-9, returned to Turkey after wrapping up his contacts.

    Addressing journalists at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul after his arrival, Turk noted that his contacts in Britain were very productive and positive.

    Turk told reporters, ''the theme of the 23rd European Justice Ministers' Conference was to find the way to provide justice in the 21st century. Issues such as prevention of postponements in the judicial process and modernization of courts were also taken up at the conference. I had held contacts with justice ministers of Germany, Albania, Begium, Bulgaria, Iceland, Italy, Switzerland, Moldova, Romania, Macedonia, Ukraine and Greece. My contacts with British officials had focused on extradition of offenders and judicial cooperation. We encounter problems with Britain, Germany and Belgium on the issue of extradition of offenders. We have agreed to cooperate in solution of these problems. I had submitted the list of 18 offenders to British officials. Turkey requests extradition of these offenders.''

    Noting that the issue of Fehriye Erdal, a member of the illegal Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and one of the suspects of assasination of businessman Ozdemir Sabanci in 1996, was brought onto agenda of his meeting with Belgian Justice Minister, Turk said, ''my Belgian counterpart Marc Verwilghen told me that extradition of Erdal to Turkey was 'absolutely out of question'. I asked him whether or not there was an opportunity to raise an objection to the decision of the Court of Appeals. He told me that there was not such an opportunity. I told him that Erdal's crimes were not politically motivated, but she committed terrorist crimes. I also told him that international cooperation was necassary to struggle against terrorism. He was agreed with me. He had clearly expressed that it was a binding decision for the Belgian government. I insisted on two alternatives. One of those alternatives was Erdal's trial in Belgium in accordance with Article 7 of the 'European Convention of Prevention of Terrorism' and the other one was an opportunity enabling the Turkish authorities to interrogate Erdal by proxy. He told me that they would take into consideration those requests and give response as soon as possible.''

    ''I had held talks with the British Home Department officials on the issue of cooperation in struggle against drug trafficking, international terrorism and cross-border crimes. We had discussed measures to be taken in the Europe 2000 Championship with Belgian, Italian and British officials,'' he said.

    Turk told reporters, ''Turkey's membership to the European Union (EU) was high on the agenda of my meetings. The EU Commission is preparing a statement proposing to lift visa implementation on candidate countries. Turkey was not included in the statement. I told EU officials that such a discrimination would contradict with the decision taken at the Helsinki Summit last year regarding prevention of double standards.

    Referring to the Hope Operation which was launched to capture assassins of Mumcu, Turk said, ''two suspects of assasination of journalist-writer Mumcu, are among those who were taken into custody in the Hope Operations. One person who was claimed to be a suspect of the assasination of Mumcu, has no connection with the incident. I do not want to make a statement at this point. The Ankara State Security Court (DGM) Chief Prosecutor's Office will finalize its indictment and file a lawsuit soon.''

    When asked whether or not the capital punishment would be lifted, Turk said, ''I have defended that the death penalty should be lifted. It became clear that the capital punishment does not have dissuasiveness. The EU considers abolishment of capital punishment as a common value. Many countries refrain from extraditing offenders to Turkey because of death penalty. The issue created sensibility in the public opinion during the trial of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK. Turkey lost 30 thousand citizens in terrorist activities in the last 16 years. Therefore, a dratf law envisaging abolishment of death penalty has no chance to be approved by parliament. But we have started to scrutinize the Turkish Penal Code. We will come to a conclusion on the issue within this framework.''

    [21] OPERATIONS AGAINST HEZBOLLAH IN BITLIS

    BITLIS - Security forces captured eight members of the terrorist Hezbollah organization in operations they carried out in eastern Bitlis province on Sunday.

    Acting on a tip-off, the Police Department's Anti-Terrorism officials carried out operations in the city center, and detained eight persons understood to have aided the terrorist organisation.

    Officials said that the detainees would stand trial after the completion of their interrogations.

    [22] NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER CAKMAKOGLU DEPARTS FROM BRUSSELS

    BRUSSELS - National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, who had been representing Turkey at the NATO Ministerial Meetings in Brussels, and who had been carryig out contacts with various officials within this framework, departed from Belgium on Sunday.

    Cakmakoglu took off on a private plane to Latvia on an official visit.

    [23] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT:

    -''WE ARE DETERMINED TO START A DEVELOPMENT MOBILIZATION
    IN EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA''
    DIYARBAKIR - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), said on Sunday, ''we are determined to start a development mobilization in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia.''

    Addressing the DSP's Second Provincial Congress in Diyarbakir province, Ecevit said, ''separatist terrorism has been nearly eradicated during the 57th government's period. Separatists understood that Turkey could not be divided. Now they are trying to divide Turkey politically. But those who failed to divide Turkey with armed attacks, cannot succeed in dividing Turkey politically. At the same time, we have succeeded in revealing the unsolved homicides one by one.''

    Prime Minister Ecevit stressed, ''if the capital punishment is lifted, offenders who were captured in foreign countries, will be extradited to Turkey easily. With abolishment of capital punishment, one of the obstacles on the path of Turkey's full membership to the European Union (EU) will be removed.''

    Ecevit reiterated that they were determined to start a development mobilization in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia.

    Noting that there were allegations saying that Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, could not be provided sufficient health service at the Imrali Prison, Prime Minister Ecevit said, ''denial of health services provided for Ocalan, is nothing but ungratefulness.''

    [24] DEMISE OF SYRIAN PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD

    -PARLIAMENT SPEAKER AKBULUT:
    -''I HOPE TURKEY-SYRIA RELATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO
    PROCEED ON THE SAME FRIENDLY PATH DURING THE RULE
    OF THE NEW PRESIDENT''
    ANKARA - Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut said on Sunday that he wished the relations between Turkey and Syria would continue to proceed on the same friendly path during the rule of the new president who is to come to power after the demise of Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad.

    Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Akbulut said that the relations between the two countries had improved greatly after the solution of the ''terrorism'' problem during Al-Assad's rule, and expressed hope that the relations between the two countries would continue within the same friendly framework.

    [25] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT ATTENDS MEETING OF GOVERNORS

    OF EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN PROVINCES
    DIYARBAKIR - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit attended on Sunday the meeting of governors of eastern and southeastern provinces.

    Gokhan Aydiner, the Governor of Emergency Rule Region; Ahmet Cemil Serhadli, the Governor of Diyarbakir; Isa Parlak, the Governor of Batman; Tamer Ersoy, the Governor of Bingol; Keramettin Koksal, the Governor of Bitlis; Orhan Isin, the Governor of Hakkari; Temel Kocaklar, the Governor of Mardin; Aslan Kutuk, the Governor of Mus; Erol Arikan, the Governor of Siirt; Huseyin Baskaya, the Governor of Sirnak; Mehmet Ali Turker, the Governor of Tunceli; and Durmus Koc, the Governor of Van, were in attendance at the meeting.

    No statement has been given yet about agenda of the meeting.

    [26] GENERAL CONGRESS MEETING OF JOURNALISTS' FEDERATION OF TURKEY

    -PARLIAMENT SPEAKER AKBULUT:
    -''AN INDIRECT CENSOR IS UNDERWAY AT PRESENT, AND THAT IS THROUGH
    THE MONOPOLISATION OF COMMUNICATION MEANS''
    ANKARA - Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut said on Sunday that although Turkish press had come a long way in freeing itself from censorship, there still existed an indirect censor on it, which he said, existed in form of monopolisation of means of communication.

    The Second General Congress Meeting of the Journalists' Association of Turkey started on Sunday at Anadolu Ajansi Conference Hall.

    ''Democracy is the first thing that comes to mind when speaking of the press. An independent press can exist only in a democratic country. Democracy's strength is rooted in the strength of the press. In Turkey, the press still complains that it is not fully independent; and I have no objections against that. But, Turkish press has come a long way in its struggle to free itself from censorship, and this can neither be despised, nor denied,'' Akbulut said.

    ''These days, the press complains of an indirect censorship, and that takes place through the monopolisation of means of communication. The reason why this monopoly feels like censorship, is because it has commercial designs in it,'' he noted.

    Akbulut said, ''the duty of the press, on the other hand, is to illuminate the public, provide the people with accurate news in the shortest time possible. And one important duty of press members, is to stand up against the monopoly, and continue to perform their duties in the appropriate manner, will full compliance to their principles.''

    He noted, ''there is also much uttering about freedom of thought. One cannot even speak of it, if he cannot organize his own thoughts, and express it in its simplest form.''

    ''Should there be any limits set for freedom of thought? I believe there should. The indivisible integrity of our country, the unity and solidarity of our nation, the democratic regime, and our national interests should draw these limits for our national well-being and peace. And I have full confidence in Turkish journalists that they will maintain this fine balance between these elements, and the principles of their professions.'', Akbulut said.

    [27] SECURITY FORCES IMPOUND 49 KG OF HEROIN IN ISTANBUL

    ISTANBUL - Security forces impounded 49 kg of heroin in an operation in Istanbul.

    Acting on a tip-off, security forces stopped and searched a truck, and confiscated 49 kg of heroin hidden in secret parts of the vehicle.

    Officials told the A.A correspondent that market value of the drug which was brought to Turkey from Iran, was nearly 500 billion Turkish liras.

    In the operation, security forces detained eight people including three Bulgarians and an Iranian.

    Security forces also confiscated three weapons, 146,500 German marks, 3 thousand Dutch guilders, one truck, four automobiles, one false passport and one false identity card.

    [28] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM ARRIVES IN KAZAKHSTAN

    ASTANA - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, arrived in Kazakhstan on Sunday on a two-day official visit.

    Kayrat Abdirahmanov, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister, welcomed Cem at the airport.

    Cem will be received by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and Prime Minister Kasim Comert Tokayev on Monday.

    He is also scheduled to come together with his Kazakh counterpart Yerlan Idrisov the same day.

    Cem's contacts are expected to focus on bilateral relations, recent developments in Central Asia, and regional and international issues.

    Cem will proceed to Kyrgyzstan after wrapping up his contacts in Kazakhstan later on Monday.

    [29] THE 539TH ANNIVERSARY OF FOUNDATION OF TURKISH ARMENIAN PATRIARCHATE

    -A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY HELD IN VIRGIN MARY ARMENIAN CHURCH
    ISTANBUL - A religious ceremony was held in the Virgin Mary Armenian Church in Kumkapi district of Istanbul on Sunday to mark the 539th anniversary of foundation of Turkish Armenian Patriarchate.

    Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan II performed the religious ceremony.

    Sultan Mehmet II the Conqueror, Founder of the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul, and 83 demised patriarchs were commemorated in the religious ceremony.

    Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan II said that the patriarchate needed both financial and moral support.

    He added that the patriarchate building suffered damage when a massive quake had hit Marmara Region on August 17, 1999.

    [30] STATE MINISTER GEMICI RETURNS TO TURKEY

    ISTANBUL - Hasan Gemici, the State Minister who had attended a conference on ''Women 2000: Men-Women Equality and Problems in the 21st Century'' organized by the United Nations in New York, the U.S., returned to Turkey on Sunday.

    Addressing journalists at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul after his arrival, Gemici said, ''developments in men-women equality and women rights since the Fourth World Women Conference held in Chinese capital of Beijing in 1995, were evaluated at the meeting.''

    He said that the Turkish delegation was composed of deputies, officials from State Ministry's Directorate General of Status of Women, and representatives of Turkish Women's Union, Turkish Association of Family Planning and non-governmental organizations.

    [31] STATE MINISTER GUREL ARRIVES IN AUSTRIA

    ISTANBUL - Sukru Sina Gurel, the State Minister and the Spokesman of Government, arrived in Austrian capital of Vienna on Sunday.

    He is scheduled to come together with Elizabeth Sickl, Austrian Soical Security Minister, and Ernst Strasser, Austrian Interior Minister, on Tuesday.

    Gurel's contacts are expected to focus on problems of Turkish people living in Austria.

    Gurel will meet with representatives of Turkish associations on Monday.

    He will partake in a dinner which will be hosted in his honor by Omer Akbel, the Turkish Ambassador to Austria, the same day.

    [32] HEALTH MINISTER DURMUS RETURNS TO TURKEY

    ISTANBUL - Osman Durmus, the Health Minister who had attended the 5th International Health Conference in Mexico, returned to Turkey on Sunday.

    Addressing journalists at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul after his arrival, Durmus said that the conference was organized by Mexican Health Ministry, World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan-American Health Organization.

    Durmus said that representatives of 133 countries were in attendance at the conference.

    He added, ''we have signed an agreement envisaging cooperation between Turkey and Mexico in the field of health.''

    [33] SECURITY FORCES CAPTURE 202 PEOPLE WHO ATTEMPTED

    TO PROCEED TO EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ILLEGALLY
    MUGLA - Security forces captured on Sunday 202 people in Kapikargin village in Dalaman township of Aegean Mugla province as they were trying to proceed to European countries illegally.

    Immigrants including Morroccans, Indians, Bangladeshis, Iraqis and Turks were taken into custody for violating the Turkish borders and the passport law.

    A full investigation is underway.

    [34] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT ATTENDS MEETING OF GOVERNORS

    OF EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN PROVINCES (2)
    DIYARBAKIR - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit expressed profound sorrow over demise of Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad.

    Ecevit attended on Sunday the meeting of governors of eastern and southeastern provinces.

    Addressing journalists following the meeting, Prime Minister Ecevit said that the meeting had focused on the recent developments in the region.

    He told reporters, ''our citizens who were forced to leave their homes as a result of terrorist activities in the region, want to return to their villages. A number of them have already returned to their villages. But some of the villages are in uninhabitable conditions. The State should prepare a rural settlement plan as soon as possible. We have taken very important steps to this end. We plan to implement different models for different parts of the region.''

    He said, ''one of the most important traditional sources of income in the region is husbandry. But husbandry has suffered heavy loss after the usage of pastures were restricted due to security. At the meeting we discussed measures to be taken to develop husbandry again.''

    Ecevit stressed that number of organized industry sites should be increased in order to solve the unemployment problem in the region.

    When asked about possible effects of demise of President Al-Assad of Syria, one of the countries supporting the terrorist organization PKK, on balances in the region and on the Middle East peace process, Prime Minister Ecevit said, ''it is difficult to say something at this point. President Al-Assad was a well-experienced politician and statesman. We have recorded positive progress in our relations with Syria recently. I hope that change process would be finalized in Syria without damaging stability.''

    Gokhan Aydiner, the Governor of Emergency Rule Region; Ahmet Cemil Serhadli, the Governor of Diyarbakir; Isa Parlak, the Governor of Batman; Tamer Ersoy, the Governor of Bingol; Keramettin Koksal, the Governor of Bitlis; Orhan Isin, the Governor of Hakkari; Temel Kocaklar, the Governor of Mardin; Aslan Kutuk, the Governor of Mus; Erol Arikan, the Governor of Siirt; Huseyin Baskaya, the Governor of Sirnak; Mehmet Ali Turker, the Governor of Tunceli; and Durmus Koc, the Governor of Van, were in attendance at the meeting.


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