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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-10-24

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

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

Anadolu Agency

ANADOLU AGENCY

NEWS

24 OCTOBER 2000

Tuesday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] PREMIER ECEVIT SAYS TURKEY IS AWARE OF IMPORTANCE
  • [03] 46 TURKISH FOOD FIRMS PARTICIPATING IN SIAL 2000
  • [04] PRESIDENT SEZER SAYS U.N. HAS TO PROTECT SPIRIT OF COOPERATION
  • [05] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT TO GO TO SKOPJE ON WEDNESDAY
  • [06] DUTCH BUSINESSMEN HAVE POSITIVE IMPRESSIONS ABOUT TURKEY
  • [07] TURKEY AND RUSSIA SIGN DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR
  • [08] TREASURY RAISES 574.3 TRILLION TURKISH LIRA
  • [09] EXPORTS TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES
  • [10] ANKARA GOVERNOR AND TIRANA GOVERNOR SIGN COOPERATION PROTOCOL
  • [11] ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION RISES 5.16 PERCENT IN Q2
  • [12] RUSSIAN PREMIER VISITS ENERGY MINISTER (1)
  • [13] DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER BAHCELI:
  • [14] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM:

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

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

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    OUR POPULATION INCREASES BY THREE MILLIONS IN THREE YEARS
    The unofficial results of the census started to be announced. The approximate population of Turkey increased by 3 millions and reached 65,8 million compared to the census held in 1997. The population of Istanbul increased by 822,000 in three years and reached 10,021,098. The new population of Ankara reached 4,018,278.

    INFLATION TO PLAY THE MAIN ROLE
    The Central Bank decided to use the inflation rate as an indicator in its monetary policy which was based on foreign exchange rate before. The Central Bank will bring this to agenda till June, next year. The new implementation is expected to be in practice in 2002.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    GREEK CYPRIOTS PLAY WITH FIRE
    When the Greek Cypriot Defense Minister said ''it's now been seen how we've coped with the Turkish planes,'' Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) noted that ''if the sides are not careful, this can cause a war.''

    THE REVOLT SPREADS TO BAYRAMPASA PRISON
    A revolt took place in Adana Prison when prisoners who set the wards to fire, took hostage 21 wardens. Three persons were wounded in the incidents. The criminals which supported the uprising took hostage 25 wardens in Bayrampasa pirson. The prisoners want the general amnesty to be adopted as soon as possible.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    TUSIAD HOPEFUL FOR THE FUTURE
    The members of the Association of Turkish Businessmen and Industralists (TUSIAD) who had worries about the economic situation of Turkey in the last decade, declared for the first time that they were hopeful for the economic future of Turkey. Erkut Yucaoglu, the Chairman of the TUSIAD said that the Turkish businessmen started to make projections for the coming ten years. Yucaoglu also noted that the companies weren't living the day, but making plans for the future.

    TURKISH PEOPLE GET 840 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS AS AUTOMOBILE CREDIT
    IN THE LAST THREE MONTHS
    The Turkish people got 840 million U.S. dollars of automobile credit in the last three months. This means, 50 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) of automobile credit was received in one week of this period. The main reason of this demand is the decrease in the interest of the automobile credits, and both the automotive industry, and the banks benefited from this increase.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    TENSION INCREASES WITH ATHENS
    Greece is continuing its attempts to make Turkey give concessions on the solution of Cyprus and Aegean issues. The relations which were warming between the two countries became tense again a little time left to the announcement of the Accession Partnership Accord which is the basic document of Turkey's full EU membership negotiations. It was stated that Greece's goal is to include binding statements on Aegean and Cyprus in the Accord which will be announced on November 8. Greece had earlier stated that it would protest Turkey's inclusion in the European Defense and Security Identity (EDSI).

    HEZBOLLAH RECOVERING
    Intelligence units stated that the terrorist organization Hezbollah which suffered a serious blow during the across-nation operations, is working to regain its former strength. It was said that Hezbollah's priority is now strict secrecy in its activities. The organization is still using mosques widely to get organized and they are seeking for legal ways to get back their properties which were confiscated by the government during operations. The report also noted that there is a weakening of trust for the organizations due to the murders Hezbollah committed. This is also causing some members quit the organization. Recently, the report said, women have been given more active duties within the organization.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    GOVERNMENT STARTS ITS' WORKS
    After electing the Speaker of the Parliament, the government started to work on the economic and political agenda. The parties that form the coalition decided that the comissions in which the important drafts are going to be discussed, should be formed. The parliament will start its' ''official'' legislation implementations, next week. The government will firstly discuss the decress which were vetoed by the President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, and will discuss the decreess annulled by the Constitutional Court.

    FIRST PHASE OF THE RESTORATIONS IN METROPOLIS ANCIENT CITY
    COMPLETED
    The first phase of the restorations in Metropolis ancient city is completed. The restorations are firstly aiming at preserving the theatre of the city, and to reuse the theatre in artistic activities. The theatre having a capacity for four thousand people, is one of the earliest stone constructions of Anatolia. The ancient city of Metropolis was dating back to 725 B.C.

    YENİ BİNYIL (LIBERAL)

    RIOTS ERUPT AT ADANA AND BAYRAMPASA PRISONS
    Inmates at the Adana Maximum Security Prison and the Bayrampasa Prison took guardians hostage during the riots which took place on Monday. Authorities failed to negotiate with the inmates who later set the wards on fire. The incidents started at the Adana High Security Prison after the prison authorities attempted to send four members of a criminal organization to other provinces. At the Bayrampasa Prison, inmates took 25 guardians hostage and attempts to stop the riot failed.

    TURKISH-RUSSIAN COOPERATION IN SECURITY
    Russian Prime Minister Kasyanov who had a meeting with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on Monday agreed to cooperate with Turkey in security issues. Ecevit, during the meeting, stressed that Turkey would be faitful to the anti-terrorism protocol he signed in Russia. He also stated that Turkey is expecting Russian support in energy matters.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    GOOD RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA
    The Russian Premier Kasyanov who currently visits Turkey as the official guest of Premier Bulent Ecevit, issued messages which indicated warm relations between Turkey and Russia. Noting that they attribute great importance to the Blue Stream Project, Kasyanov pointed out that the transfer of natural gas to Turkey will start in 2001.

    RESPONSE TO ARMENIANS
    The parliament decided to form a Scientific Working Group to inform the world public opinion about the claims of genocide on Armenians. Omer Izgi, the Parliament Speaker said that the acting group leaders of parties requested the parliament to express the sensitivity again regarding the resolution on socalled genocide on Armenians which came to the agenda of the U.S. House of Representatives in the new period.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    EUROPE FRIGHTENED BY TURKEY'S POPULATION
    Europe seems frightened by the population of Turkey because the voting procedure in the decision making organs of the European Union (EU) are determined according to the ''population.'' If Turkey joins the EU as a full member, it will be the third crowded country within the EU.

    ECONOMIC BURDEN, FREE MOVEMENT
    One of the factors which delay the full membership of Turkey to the EU is the economic burden Turkey will cause for the EU. The other factor is the possible immigration of people to Europe which the membership of Turkey to the EU will cause.

    -FOREIGN MINISTER CEM CONFIRMS TURKEY'S DETERMINISM TO
    CONTRIBUTE MORE TO PEACE EFFORTS WITHIN UNITED NATIONS
    ANKARA - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Monday that Turkey would continue its active participation within the United Nations (U.N.) and work to contribute more to peace. Cem released a statement on the 55th foundation anniversary of the U.N. where he remarked that the U.N. was founded to protect next generations from the disaster of wars.

    Noting that humanity achieved to avoid a disaster like the World War II in the last 55 years, Cem said ''the U.N.'s significant role in this achievement cannot be denied.''

    Leaders of 150 countries who attended the Millennium Summit clearly stated that the U.N. should adjust to new international conditions, Cem said, and added that a series of measures need to be taken for this reason. Cem said he believed U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's reform efforts would yield successful results and the U.N. would gain a more dynamic and powerful structure.

    ''Turkey is aware of the fact that the U.N.'s fulfillment of these expectations largely depends on the determinism of member states,'' Cem wrote. ''Our country will continue its active participation within the United Nations and contribute more to the peace. We congratulate the U.N. which achieved to become the main assurance of international peace and security since its foundation despite all difficulties and we confirm our faith that this organization will be successful in preventing wars in the future.''

    [02] PREMIER ECEVIT SAYS TURKEY IS AWARE OF IMPORTANCE

    OF U.N. IN INTERNATIONAL ARENA
    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that Turkey, which is aware of the place and importance of the United Nations (U.N.) in the international arena and its own responsibilities, is resolved to fulfil its obligations to strengthen the organization and make it more effective.

    Issuing a message upon the 55th foundation anniversary of the U.N., Ecevit said that the foundation anniversary of the U.N. which is the only universal organization with its 189 members is celebrated every year on 24 October.

    ''The U.N. which convened the heads of states and governments of 150 countries, including Turkey at the Millennium Summit, has caught the opportunity to re-determine its priorities in the 21st century. I would like to congratulate the U.N. Secretary General who was able to bring together the world leaders under one roof for international peace, security and prosperity. The world leaders who had the opportunity to examine the new problems of the globalizing world at the summit agreed that they have to act immediately to solve these problems. Thus we consider the final declaration which was accepted by all states at the summit as a guide which will show the way to the U.N.,'' Ecevit noted.

    [03] 46 TURKISH FOOD FIRMS PARTICIPATING IN SIAL 2000

    INTERNATIONAL FOOD FAIR
    PARIS - A total of 41 Turkish companies are participating in this year's SIAL 2000, one of the biggest food fairs of the world, which is held in Paris. Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) member Ahmet Kusculu said participation from Turkey is higher this year compared to previous years. He also added that SIAL is a good opportunity for Turkish firms to find new foreign markets.

    Noting that Turkish food firms have made important progress in food export in recent years, Kusculu said the Turkish food sector is especially targeting Africa and the Far East.

    Turkish Ambassador in Paris Sonmez Koksal visited the Turkish stands in the fair. About 5,000 firms from 90 countries are joining SIAL 2000 Food Fair which will last until October 26.

    [04] PRESIDENT SEZER SAYS U.N. HAS TO PROTECT SPIRIT OF COOPERATION

    AND SOLIDARITY WHICH CAME OUT IN MILLENNIUM SUMMIT
    ANKARA - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said on Tuesday that the U.N. which entered the new century with the Millennium Summit has to protect and carry the spirit of cooperation and solidarity which came out in this summit to the coming years.

    Issuing a message upon the 55th foundation anniversary of the U.N., Sezer said that the U.N. has carried out an indispensable function in the world as the protector of international peace and security since the end of the Second World War.

    Sezer noted in his message that Turkey, which is a founding member of the organization, actively supports all the efforts of the U.N. to put into practice the basic principles and targets of its Charter.

    The things foreseen by the Final Declaration of the summit which has the character of a road map, should be fulfilled, he added.

    The President said that it is the responsibility of all the member countries now to put into practice the Final Declaration which covers targets like struggle with poverty, a more egalitarian economy, preventitive diplomacy, supremacy of law which are very important for the international order.

    ''In this respect, the U.N. has to complete the reform process to cope with the problems in the 21st century in the globalizing world. Turkey is resolved to contribute to this process as a responsible member of the U.N, '' he added.

    [05] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT TO GO TO SKOPJE ON WEDNESDAY

    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will go to Macedonia on Wednesday to attend the unofficial summit of presidents of countries participating in the South East Europe Cooperation Process.

    Besides Turkey and Albania; Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Yugoslavia will also be represented at the summit which will be held in Skopje.

    Diplomatic sources said Ecevit already have two meetings scheduled with with Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski and Romanian President Emil Constantinescu.

    No meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis has been included in Ecevit's programme so far although Simitis will also be present at the summit.

    Ecevit has had an influence on Albanian's decision to participate in the summit which at first was reluctant to attend. Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta who had a meeting with Ecevit last week in Ankara had expressed his concerns over Kosovo and added that therefore his country did not want to attend the summit.

    Ecevit responded by saying that Albania should be represented at the summit and it should share its concerns with other participating countries.

    The United States has a new plan regarding Kosovo which will be a major topic of discussion at the summit. As a part of this plan, the new administration in Yugoslavia would separate Kosovo from Serbia and make it one of Yugoslavia's three republics which have limited autonomy. Yugoslavia currently is consisted of Monte Negro and Serbian republics.

    The Albanian majority wants independence in Kosovo, but no countries officially supports this demand. The United States believes that the only way to prevent a tension between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo is to make Kosovo a republic.

    New Yugoslavian President Voyislav Kostunitsa will for the first time come together with the leaders of Yugoslavia's neighbours. Yugoslavia had attended the summit which was held in Antalya but it was not invited to the last summit held in Bucharest in February 2000.

    There are ongoing efforts to integrate Yugoslavia in the international community after Kostunitsa was elected as president. As a part of these efforts, this country is being invited to various international meetings held in several platforms.

    [06] DUTCH BUSINESSMEN HAVE POSITIVE IMPRESSIONS ABOUT TURKEY

    AMSTERDAM - Gerard Vaandrager, the Chairman of the International Trade of the Rotterdam Cnamber of Commerce, said on Tuesday that their visit to Turkey was very fruitful.

    Addressing the meeting which was organized to give information to the Turkish investors, Vaandrager noted that they had been exerting efforts to further improve the trade relations with Turkey for eight years, and that they visited Turkey with a crowded delegation, comprising 36 businessmen.

    Vaandrager underlined that the Dutch businessmen were willing to continue their relations with the Turkish businessmen, and that steps were taken for some trade agreements in their recent visits to Istanbul, and Ankara.

    Meanwhile, Serpil Alpman, the Consul General of Turkey in Rotterdam, pointed out that the trade relations between the two countries would gain speed in a short period of time, as there were many young Turkish investors working in the Netherlands.

    The experiences, and the efforts of the Turkish investors in the Netherlands, in the last three decades, were explained in other speeches of the meeting.

    The Dutch businessmen, including nine investors of Turkish origin contacted with the Turkish businessmen, in Istanbul, Golcuk, and Ankara, between October 14 and 19.

    [07] TURKEY AND RUSSIA SIGN DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR

    REPRESENTATIONS AGREEMENT
    ANKARA - Turkey and Russia signed on Tuesday Diplomatic and Consular Representations Agreement.

    Faruk Logoglu, the Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, and Aleksander Avdayev, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, signed the agreement.

    In accordance with the agreement, the quotas applied to the diplomatic and consular personnel of the two countries are lifted.

    Logoglu said that the relations between Turkey and Russia should be further improved in direction of the expectations of the region and international community.

    Avdayev said that the issues concerning the Cold War should be left behind.

    Avdayev added that they are in favour of Turkey's good representation in Russia.

    [08] TREASURY RAISES 574.3 TRILLION TURKISH LIRA

    THROUGH AUCTION FOR 14-MONTH BONDS
    ANKARA - Treasury Undersecretariat sold 574.3 trillion Turkish lira (TL) nominal-valued 14-month bonds in its Tuesday's auction.

    The net sale became 400.5 trillion TL while the total bid had been 1 quadrillion 123.2 trillion TL.

    The value date of these debenture bonds is October 25, 2000 and the maturity is December 12, 2001.

    The annual simple interest rate became 38.24 percent and the annual composite interest rate became 37.38 percent.

    The minimum simple interest rate became 37.55 percent and maximum simple interest rate became 38.62 percent.

    The minimum composite interest rate became 36.72 percent and maximum composite interest rate became 37.75 percent.

    Meanwhile, Treasury will repay 1 quadrillion 521 trillion 414 billion TL in October.

    [09] EXPORTS TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES

    ANKARA - The United States became the country to which exports from Turkey increased most in the January-September period of 2000.

    Exports to the U.S. increased 442.7 million to 2 billion 197.4 million U.S. dollars in the first nine months of 2000.

    In the same period, exports to Britain rose 151.9 million U.S. dollars and exports to Iraq climbed 82.2 million U.S. dollars.

    According to statistics of the Exporters' Unions, exports from Turkey to the U.S. had been 1 billion 754.7 million in the first nine months of 1999.

    Exports to Britain reached 1 billion 508.3 million U.S. dollars while total exports to this country in the same period of 1999 had been 1 billion 356.4 million U.S. dollars.

    As a result of exportation strategy to increase trade with the neighboring countries, exports to Iraq increased 82.2 million to 246.2 million U.S. dollars in the first nine months of 2000. Total exports to this country in the same period of 1999 had been 164 million U.S. dollars.

    Between January and September 2000, exports to Italy increased 60.9 million to 1 billion 312.2 million U.S. dollars and exports to Iran rose 56.1 million to 179.9 million U.S. dollars.

    Meanwhile, exports to Germany in the first nine months of 2000 decreased 174.4 million to 3 billion 826.7 million U.S. dollars while total exports in the same period of 1999 had been 4 billion 1.1 million U.S. dollars.

    Exports to Egypt decreased 86.6 million to 267.3 million U.S. dollars and exports to Tunisia dropped 72.2 million to 118.4 million U.S. dollars in the same period.

    Exports to Pakistan decreased 65.7 million U.S. dollars to 42.3 million U.S. dollars; exports to India fell 61.3 million U.S. dollars to 42.4 million U.S. dollars; and exports to Syria dropped 54.9 million U.S. dollars to 140.8 million U.S. dollars between January and September 2000.

    [10] ANKARA GOVERNOR AND TIRANA GOVERNOR SIGN COOPERATION PROTOCOL

    ANKARA - Ankara Governor Yahya Gur and Tirana Governor Taulat Dedja signed on Tuesday a cooperation protocol to improve the relations between the two cities.

    Gur said that the protocol aims at further improving the good relations between Turkey and Albania.

    Gur stated that he visited Tirana between July 18 and 21.

    They undertake responsibilities to enable Turkish and Albanian people live peacefully and tranquilly, Gur noted.

    Dedja said that this is the first time that an Albanian governor signs a protocol in a foreign country.

    Wishing Turkish and Albanian people to live in happiness and welfare, Dedja said that they will work together for the European Union (EU) membership, which is the common target of the two countries.

    Dedja noted that Albania attributes vital importance to the democratization process.

    Stating that they aim at forming a law state with all its institutions, Dedja added that they consider Turkey as their example.

    [11] ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION RISES 5.16 PERCENT IN Q2

    ANKARA - Electricity production rose 5.16 percent in the second quarter (April-May-June) of 2000 when compared to same quarter of 1999.

    According to State Institute of Statistics (DIE) survey, electricity production in Q2 of 2000 decreased 10.08 percent when compared to Q1 of 2000.

    According to the survey, 49.80 percent of total production was consumed by the industry while the rate of cosumption at residences became 22.56 percent. At the end of 1999, the rates of consumption had been 49.75 percent by the industry and 24.32 percent at residences.

    Meanwhile, the share of Turkish Electricity Production and Transmission Copr (TEAS) in total electricity production decreased from 60.52 percent to 59.58 percent in second quarted of 2000.

    The thermic electricity enery production rose 4.03 percent and hydraulic electricity energy production increased 8.07 percent in second quarted of 2000 when compared to Q2 of 1999.

    [12] RUSSIAN PREMIER VISITS ENERGY MINISTER (1)

    -ERSUMER: ''WE ARE DISCUSSING THE AMOUNT OF SUPPLEMENTARY
    NATURAL GAS THAT RUSSIAN CAN GIVE AS OF NOVEMBER''
    ANKARA - Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer said on Tuesday that they were discussing the amount of supplementary natural gas that Russia could give to Turkey as of November 2000. Russian Prime Minister Mihail Kasyanov held a 40-minute meeting with Ersumer at the Sheraton Hotel in Ankara.

    Ersumer answered questions of reporters following the meeting.

    When asked whether or not Russia would meet Turkey's request for ''additional 12 million cubic meters natural gas a day,'' Ersumer said, ''the problem does not stem from the insufficient natural gas stock in Russia. Supplementary facilities should be constructed in Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. We finalized construction of those facilities. We will be capable of carrying supplementary natural gas as of end of November.''

    ''However, Prime Minister Kasyanov determines that some problems occur especially in passing via Ukraine. We are discussing the amount of supplementary natural gas that they can give as of beginning of November. These talks will continue in Samsun,'' he said.

    Ersumer added that he hoped those talks would bring favorable result.

    (To be continued)

    -RUSSIAN PREMIER VISITS ENERGY MINISTER (2)
    -ERSUMER: ''WE HAVE AGREED TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT
    OF ELECTRICITY THAT RUSSIA TRANSFERS TO TURKEY''
    ANKARA - Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer said on Tuesday that they had agreed to increase the amount of electricity that Russia transferred to Turkey.

    Russian Prime Minister Mihail Kasyanov held a 40-minute meeting with Ersumer at the Sheraton Hotel in Ankara.

    Ersumer answered questions of reporters following the meeting.

    When asked whether or not the route of electricity transfer from Russia to Turkey had been discussed in the meeting, Ersumer said, ''we have told them that we signed intergovernmental agreement with Georgia so the amount of electricity that Georgia can give to Turkey is limited. We have reached an agreement that the monthly amount of electricity transfer can be increased to 100 million kilowatt per hour if Turkey, Russia and Georgia reach a tripartite agreement. The talks between the Turkish Electricity Production and Transmission Corp (TEAS) and Russian electricity companies will continue. We reached an agreement on this issue.''

    Responding to a question about Russia's offer to give electricity to Turkey via Armenia, Ersumer said, ''it is technically feasible. Russian officials state that electricity in Armenia belongs to Russia. This is a political decision. Such a transfer depends on the decision of the governments. It will be assessed within a conjunctural process.''

    (End)

    [13] DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER BAHCELI:

    -''THE RESOLUTION ON SO-CALLED GENOCIDE ON
    ARMENIANS CAN BE BROUGHT ONTO AGENDA AGAIN''
    -''THE OTTOMAN ARCHIVES SHOULD BE KEPT OPEN
    FOR ALL RESEARCHES''
    ANKARA - Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State and leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said on Monday, ''resolution on so-called genocide on Armenians was withdrawn from the U.S. House of Representatives full House as a result of efforts expended by the U.S. administration.'' Addressing group meeting of his party, Bahceli stressed that such an unreasonable and baseless resolution could be brought onto agenda again.

    ''Preparation of all institutions against such a situation is vitally important. The Ottoman archives should be kept open for all researches. Also we should encourage international conferences and researches on the issue. Turkey should not be contented with its initiatives in the U.S. administration. It should expend efforts to explain the facts to the U.S. public opinion,'' he stressed.

    [14] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM:

    -''THERE CAN BE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE DEVELOPMENTS IN
    RAPPROACHMENT PROCESS BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE''
    ANKARA - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Tuesday that there can be positive and negative developments in the rapproachment process between Turkey and Greece. A meeting presided by Premier Bulent Ecevit was held in the Prime Ministry. Cem, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Faruk Logoglu, and Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Yigit Alpogan attended the meting.

    Following the meeting, Cem told reporters that they informed Ecevit about the Balkan Countries Heads of Governments Summit that will be held in Skopje, Macedonia, on Wednesday.

    When asked whether or not Ecevit and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis will meet each other during the summit, Cem said, ''in such summits or Foreign Ministers' meetings, everybody meets with each other. Generally, meetings depending on formalities do not take place. Probably, everybody will talk with each other during this summit.''

    Responding a question saying, ''as one of the architectures of the Turkish- Greek rapproachment, how do you consider the developments regarding the latest tension? How can this problem be overcome? Were your efforts in vain, '' Cem said, ''none of the efforts is in vain. You are talking about the recent manoeuvres. This problem occured mainly between Greece and the NATO.''
    Cem continued, ''the NATO asked Greece not to do some certain things during the manoeuvres. The essential problem is this. Yesterday, Greek government spokesman released a statement. I felt some part of the statement was logical. The Greek spokesman said that the rapproachment between Turkey and Greece was important, but that there can be positive and negative developments in this process.''

    ''I have always said the same thing. There can be positive and negative developments. We hope these developments will not lead to any disputes or disagreements. It will be more correct if they do not cause any disputes or disagreements. We agree with the statement that Rauf Denktas, the President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, made. Cyprus is another question. The statement that Denktas made in Cypus was correct,'' Cem added.

    -MERNIS PROJECT TO BE PUT INTO PRACTICE
    ANKARA - Almost 120 million alive or dead people who are registered at the Directorate General of Census will be given identity numbers on October 28, 2000 within framework of the ''Central Population Management System'' project.

    MERNIS project aims to save and keep information on every Turkish citizen's registration in a computer system.

    Interior Ministry Acting Undersecretary Ahmet Karabilgin said on Tuesday that every Turkish citizen would have a single identity number that would accelerate public services like education and health, and procedure about social security services, census and general elections.

    Karabilgin said that almost 120 million alive or dead Turkish citizens would be given identity numbers as of October 28, 2000.

    The MERNIS project's software installation in computers at 923 Census Bureaus throughout Turkey had been concluded, he added.

    The project aims to rapidly reach individual information of each Turkish citizen and information of his/her about tax payment, health, military service, social security and similar fields through a single identity number.

    The identity numbers will be written on the identity cards that will be given after October 28, 2000. The Turkish citizens can learn their identity numbers through public institutions and organizations, and the 923 Census Bureaus.


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